Highest Recognition in Hawaii Awarded to Families of Four Fallen Service Members with Ties to the State 

HONOLULU (March 25, 2014) – The Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is pleased to support the special joint session today convened by the Hawaii State Senate and Hawaii State House of Representatives to recognize military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The families of these four fallen service members with ties to the state all received the Hawaii Medal of Honor (HMOH) on behalf of their loved ones.

The Chamber recognizes the ultimate sacrifice that these men and women have made in defense of our nation as well as the everyday sacrifices that our men and women in uniform and their families make every day.

“We are proud and humbled to support today’s ceremony honoring these brave service members,” said David Carey, MAC Chair and President & CEO for Outrigger Enterprises Group.

“The military have always played a special role in our state, and the relationship between the military and our community is among the strongest in the nation,” said Carey.

The MAC, part of the Chamber’s Military Affairs department established in 1985 to serve as the state’s liaison in matters related to the U.S. military, is committed to actively advocating and communicating on behalf of our military, reaching out to the community to improve overall quality of life for our service members and their families, and working with the military to support job creation and efficiencies that benefit both the Department of Defense and the community.

The Hawaii Medal of Honor was created by Representative Mark Takai (D-Aiea) to recognize the heroism of Hawaii’s armed forces. It is awarded on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii to honor those with Hawaii ties who were killed in action while serving our country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recipients of the medal include members of the United Armed Forces, the United States Military Reserves and the Hawaii National Guard, who were residents of the State of Hawaii, attended an educational institution in Hawaii or were stationed in Hawaii by order of the United States Department of Defense.

As of January 20, 2014, Hawaii has lost 331 service members with ties to the state, who have sacrificed their lives, while in the line of duty. Recipients include: United States Army Sergeant Tofiga J. Tautolo, United States Air Force Captain Reid K. Nishizuka, United States Army Sergeant Drew M. Scobie and United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli.

The medal is the first in the country issued by a state honoring service members killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New Hampshire, Alaska and Montana have modeled their programs after Hawaii.

The Special Joint Session of the Legislature took place today at 2 p.m. in the House Chambers.

As the leading “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s largest organization advocating for businesses in Hawaii. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii.

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Contact: Lori Abe
808-545-4300
808-282-4398 (mobile)
labe@cochawaii.org