Hawaii soldiers led by Master Sergeant Hugh O’Reilly who together, on Christmas Day 1949, committed to years of caring for the orphans of the Holy Family Home Orphanage of Osaka, Japan will be honored Wednesday by the Hawaii House of Representatives. The soldiers provided significant personal time and financial support during and after the war to help to improve living conditions for the children.
In 1957 and 1958 respectively, the soldiers began two traditions that continue to this day. During Christmastime, children from the Holy Family Home are invited to visit the soldiers and their families stationed in Hawaii, and two soldiers visit the orphanage to act as “Father Christmas,” offering gifts and companionship to the children.
House of Representatives floor presentation commending the 27th Infantry Regiment Wolfhounds and Master Sergeant Hugh O’Reilly for its Peace Bridge with Japan
Offered by State Representatives Lauren Kealohilani Cheape and K. Mark Takai
House of Representatives Chamber
Front row left to right:
Command Sergeant Major James Wadsworth, 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment; Ms. Kuniko Iwaki, Friend of the O’Reilly Family, Mrs. Yuko O’Reilly, wife of that special soldier, Master Sergeant Hugh O’Reilly, Lieutenant Colonel Barrett Bernard, Commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 27th, Ms. Norma Vantoll, Relative of the O’Reilly Family (Hugh Jr’s Mother-in-Law), Command Sergeant Major Tony Tuck, 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment
Back row left to right:
Mr. Hugh O’Reilly, Junior, son of Sergeant O’Reilly, Representative Lauren Kealohilani Cheape, Ms. Mora Dolormente President of Peace Bridge, Incorporated and Representative K. Mark Takai