Photo Information

Brock Pulliam, a Waiahole, Hawaii, native, paints one of the rooms in the Wounded Warrior Battalion West-Detachment Hawaii, May 16, 2015, aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The volunteers dedicated a portion of their weekend in honor of National Painting Week, a time spent focusing on giving back to the community and supporting community development. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Harley Thomas/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Harley Thomas

Volunteers make small sacrifice for wounded warriors

22 May 2015 | Lance Cpl. Harley Thomas Marine Corps Base Hawaii

As a part of National Painting Week, volunteers from a local painting company spent their time on May 16, 2015, repainting rooms at the Wounded Warrior Battalion West-Detachment Hawaii aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

National Painting Week is dedicated to giving back to the community and supporting community development. This year, the volunteers chose to give back to the wounded warriors aboard MCB Hawaii by painting the interiors of the Detachment.

David Katsuda, one of the volunteers painting the rooms, said companies all across the country are doing events such as this. He said that while some are painting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, he felt that with the military presence on Oahu, the wounded warriors seemed like a good fit for them.

“We (were) going to stay as long as it takes,” Katsuda, a Kihei, Hawaii, native, said. “It’s such a simple thing, to give up one Saturday and a couple buckets of paint — which is such a small sacrifice for military personnel and those who make sacrifices every day. For us, it was important to give back. Our one Saturday pales in comparison to the commitments you all make.”

Col. Sean C. Killeen, the commanding officer for Marine Corps Base Hawaii, said the volunteers were able to help brighten up the lives of the wounded warriors by brightening up their rooms.

“I think the wounded warriors are the pinnacle of those who have paid the price for this country and are still around to talk about it,” the Chicago native said. “It’s up to us to not only show our appreciation for them, but to show that we care in a tangible way as well. The volunteers (were) a good group and they (were) having a good time working; you could tell they (were) taking care in what they did and (were) investing themselves in the project.”

Killeen said this was an incredible opportunity for the community to show their support for the wounded warriors. He said it wasn’t just about respect, but also about the recognition of what the service members had given for their country.

“These people (were) doing something on the community’s behalf, doing what they can to show their appreciation for the Marines’ sacrifice,” Killeen said. “It all comes down to the belief that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Each day that a Marine comes home to his barracks, that paint job is there and it will have a lasting effect. This is more than just a handshake — it’s not something that will fade quickly.”

Killeen said the volunteers embodied the spirit of aloha by showing their support and honoring the greatest warriors the Marine Corps has. He said based on his experience as a casualty evacuation pilot, he saw what the service members went through and he has a great appreciation for what they have endured.

“Despite their wounds, they are still warriors and that’s inspiring for everybody else — they haven’t let the changes in their physical condition affect their attitude or performance,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a lance corporal or the commandant of the Marine Corps, when you see a wounded warrior, you can’t help but feel inspired. The volunteers have extended their sense of ohana, of family, to the wounded warriors and are taking care of them as if they were in fact family. For that, I offer my sincerest gratitude and a heartfelt ‘thank you.’”

Marine Corps Base Hawaii