KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --
To celebrate Halloween, a holiday steeped in American tradition, Team Kadena and Okinawa Children’s World Zoo and Museum hosted the Trunk-or-Treat event in Okinawa City, Oct. 28th.
During the event, kids went from trunk to trunk collecting candy with U.S. military members and their families, who decorated the trunks of their cars and dressed up for the Halloween-themed event. They also played games and took pictures with U.S. military members in costume.
“This is an opportunity to interact with our neighbors,” said Katsue Yonamine, deputy mayor of Okinawa City. “Through these opportunities, we can feel the English-speaking culture and become closer to one another.”
For volunteers, working the event was a way to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, one of Team Kadena’s primary focuses, while introducing American tradition and customs to the Okinawan community.
“I volunteered because I really enjoy events that include the entire community of Okinawa, both U.S. and Japanese locals,” said Staff Sgt. Sekoya Kinsey, event volunteer. “It’s nice to give back to the kids and see them have a good time dressing up for the holiday.”
Kinsey said his favorite part about Trunk-or-Treat was seeing the coordination involved in bringing the event together successfully.
“Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces are priceless, as well as the creativity that went into the costumes and the car decorations,” Kinsey said.
The Trunk-or-Treat event focused on strengthening the understanding between the U.S. and Japanese community on Okinawa, strengthening the alliance by being good friends, partners, and allies.
“Today was the first time for me to participate,” Yonamine said. “We were able to see many wonderful costumes, different from what we usually see in Okinawa. I think children along with their families enjoyed participating in the Trunk-or-Treat and I would hope that these kind of events would continue here (in the future).”