On February 1, 2023, Hawai'i Care Choices (HiCARE) team visited Ernest Takaku
(Feb 5, 1933 – Mar 28, 2023) who served in the U.S. Army from 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955. Mr. Takaku was stationed in Honolulu where he got to build comradery and lifelong friendships.
When the HiCARE Team presented the “We Honor Veterans” certificate to Mr. Takaku, he caressed the paper and took off his glasses as he slowly and proudly read through every single word. His eyes beamed and his voice regained energy as he shared with HiCARE volunteer and Army Veteran, Grant Blakeman, about his time in the Army. Afterwards, Sergeant First Class Vele Junior, in his formal dress uniform, carefully pinned Mr. Takaku on behalf of the U.S. Army. Mr. Takaku repeatedly touched his pins as their conversation continued to draw everyone back in time to his younger days as a soldier. As his family watched him, they could not resist the tears that flowed, and they all agreed that it was the first in a very long time since they had seen Mr. Takaku so genuinely happy.