The 25th Infantry Division, under the command of Major General Caslen, was deployed to Northern Iraq in 2008. Because of the deployment the Soldiers were going to miss the 25th Anniversary Great Aloha Run. Instead the 25th ID put on their own Operation
Iraqi Freedom Great Aloha Run.
In 2008 & 2009, the Hawaii National Guard was deployed to Kuwait and spread throughout several bases there. Hawaii National Guard members Captain Donna Wu and First Lieutenant Christine Limbauch were able to coordinate the 8.15 mile run at the LSA Ali Al Salem. It was a good turnout and the course was well marked and staffed. The weather was nice, cool, and clear, which was fortunate since earlier the same week they were experiencing sandstorms and high winds.
One of our National Guardsmen, 2LT Edmund Agpaoa, has done every single Great Aloha Run and did not want to break his streak. He and four buddies did the run together. Edmund is third from left in the photo.
On Friday, May 15, 2009, the Great Aloha Run’s “Mission of Aloha” Team departed for Iraq, to offer support and appreciation to the troops overseas. The idea of bringing a luau show to “our island boys” was the brainchild of Major General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. of the 25th Infantry Division of Schofield Barracks, HI. Nine people were chosen to make up the Team. Randy Hiraki, owner of Commercial Plumbing, Jay Ray, general manager of Ferguson, Donna Fouts, Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy Hawaii and stage manager Lori Kuriyama, oversaw the luau and food preparation. Entertainers Nohelani Cypriano and Sonya Mendez, with dancers Krista Duncan, Jasmine Ornellas and Radasha Ho‘ohuli, offered an elegant, yet fun Hawaiian show, complete with island souvenirs donated by the Fun Factory, the Rotary Club of Kapolei/R.Baird Company, Menehune MAC and more. Princess Ka‘iulani Fashions donated custom-made mu‘u mu‘u for a group of women soldiers, affectionately referred to as Halau O Iraq, for their performance in the final sixth show over the ten-day trip. Other trip donors included United Airlines and Dr. Lawrence Tseu.