By Jesse Church
Aloha all my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. The biggest upcoming event for veterans on Molokai will happening next week. The dedication and grand opening of our Veterans Center is on Aug. 14 and the closer it gets, the more excited I am, like a kid waiting for Christmas. Every veterans on the island must feel extremely proud, I know I do, and my only wish would be for all the veterans who helped to get this center were still here to enjoy it. But I know in my heart they are looking down on us and saying, “enjoy it, you earned it.”
I hope that everyone will join us on this very big day for Molokai’s veterans. Patti Byrd, who now lives in Washington, along with Wendell DeFreitas and the late Larry Helm were the three people who started the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans and the push for a Veterans Center on Molokai. I’m one veteran who believes they should be honored. To borrow a phrase from the immortal 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who said at his Gettysburg Address, “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this,” and I hope that all my brother and sister veterans are with me on this. It will be a very joyous occasion and all veterans there will be talking story and it will truly be a day to remember. So don’t forget your camera, and I’ll see you there on Friday, Aug. 14.
I have some more good news for veterans, as we will have a VA doctor on Molokai to take care of us starting sometime in late August. The Department of Veterans Affairs has hired Dr. Carlann DeFontes, who lives here on Molokai, and will replace our fellow veteran, the irreplaceable Dr. David Hafermann, who, as you know, has retired. Let’s wish “Doc” a happy retirement and get ready to welcome Dr. DeFontes into our community. Dr. Defontes, on behalf of my fellow veterans and myself, it’s with great joy and open arms that we welcome to you Molokai and hope you can come to the grand opening.
I wish to say thank you to all the people of Molokai for all the information you send me, please keep it coming. I depend on you and your information to write this column. Also please let’s all support our troops wherever they may be stationed, especially the troops in harm’s way. May everyone have a wonderful week, and remember, old Jesse loves every man, woman and child on Molokai, from my heart. You wonderful people are my family. Aloha, and mahalo.