Kadena Air Base Hawlloween: Trick or Treat!

by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft
18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE -- Candy! Buckets and buckets of candy awaits eager Okinawa children as they boisterously flock around the 18th Mission Support Group commander, Col. Thang T. Doan as he greets families to the Halloween trick or treat cultural exchange.

More than 150 visitors from surrounding communities ebbed with excitement as the commander made his welcoming remarks.

“On behalf of Brig. Gen. Cunningham, I’d like to welcome you all to Kadena,” Col. Doan said. “Halloween is a very fun tradition, and we’re very happy that you could join us in today’s celebration!”

This year’s Halloween gave Team Kadena a chance to build friendships and cultural awareness with Japanese communities in a fun and friendly family environment.

“It is opportunities like this sharing of cultures that make Kadena such a unique place,” Col. Doan said. “We are honored to have you share in some of our traditions, and we look forward to continuing to share in yours.”

Okinawa children, such as seven-year-old Neil Tamaki, seemed to look forward to it for a much simpler reason.

“I’ve been trick-or-treating on base before,” he said. “The fun thing about Halloween is that I can get lots of snacks. I want to join this event again.”

With the full support of the 18th Logistics Squadron, the 18th Security Forces Squadron, and Team Kadena volunteers, the trick-or-treat cultural exchange event successfully integrated into endless herds of American and Japanese children roaming the streets for the next handful of candy.

Col. Doan appreciated how families of two different cultures enjoyed the pleasure of creating fond memories for their children, together as a single community.

“By opening our gates and our homes to our local neighbors, we help bridge the gap between the two cultures, and what better way to do that than with these fun events where children are the focus,” he exclaimed.

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