Sunday, May 1, 2011


Mr. Jack Holman’s day started off great, never mind the fact that his luggage was still in Missouri, and he was still wearing the same purple shirt he had worn since we picked him up from the airport Thursday. As he walked outside, he looked to the sky and thanked God for a beautiful day. Mr. Holman’s mantra of keeping a positive attitude has been on display the entire trip.

As we arrived at Pearl Harbor this morning, Mr. Holman was eager to share his WWII journey. He told us exactly where he was on December 7, 1941, and even though his father, a World War I vet, warned him against volunteering, when Mr. Holman got his letter from President Roosevelt, he knew he had to do his part. As Mr. Holman shared his experiences from Normandy to Okinawa, we couldn’t help but notice how the horrors of war couldn’t shake his positive outlook on life.

Our next stop was the US Army Museum of Hawaii where Colonel Moon greeted us. The Colonel provided us with a great overview of the Pacific Theater, but what really stood out to us was when he asked if the veterans would take a picture with his two young sons. Here was an active duty Colonel who was genuinely excited and honored for his sons to meet our five veterans.

As the day ended, Mr. Holman’s sense of humor was on display during a luau at Paradise Cove. As we walked along the beach, Mr. Holman enjoyed fooling us all with his ventriloquism. But he also acted like a proud grandfather taking pictures and encouraging us as we tried our hand at spear-throwing and Hawaiian bowling. Along with another of our veterans, Mr. George Beden, Mr. Holman became an 87 year-old certified Hula dancer!

Through our journey, Mr. Holman has reminded us that our attitude makes all the difference in life. A positive attitude reflects on everything you do, even if your luggage is still in Missouri.

Brandolyn Hoagland and John Dye

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