For most Americans, Hawaii the ultimate tropical vacation destination. In fact, a majority of us just daydream about visiting it one day in the far-off future. However, for the 49,187 active duty and reserve members and their families stationed in Hawaii, it’s home. You probably know that on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, located in Oahu, Hawaii. Decades later, it is home to many military families and serves as an important base for the United States Military.
Hawaii’s Importance Today
There is a large military presence in Hawaii, which is unique, considering that it’s OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States). According to Governing States and Localities, Hawaii ranks ninth on the list of states with the largest amount of active duty and reserve members. It has approximately 40,034 in active duty and 9,313 reserve members. Additionally, the headquarters of the United States Pacific Command is in Hawaii.
Life on the Island
I was lucky enough to chat with Christina Lynn Cowle about her experience living in Hawaii. Her husband, Morgan Cowle, is a captain in the Airforce and is stationed in Hawaii. As soon as she moved to the island of Honolulu she settled right in and was even Mrs. Waikiki 2016. I asked Christina about her favorite part of living on the island and she replied, “Living in paradise of course!”. Christina, who loves to work out, also says that hiking around the island is one of her absolute favorite activities. She said that she also loves of the beautiful beaches, and, as a new mom, she is always up for a day in the sun with her daughter. Of course, Christina says that the overall beauty of the land is one of the most incredible benefits of her husband’s station.
Home to all Five Branches
Although Christina and her husband don’t live on base, she says that there is a strong military presence everywhere. Each branch of the military is represented on the island, and Christina says that’s one of the coolest aspects of Hawaii. Of the 40,034 active duty military personnel stationed in Hawaii, 7,584 are Army; 8,138 are Navy; 8,055 are Marine Corps; 4,990 are Air Force, and 1,267 are Coast Guard. Christina says, “You get to see all different walks of military life!” in Hawaii.
In retrospect, although you might consider Hawaii to be a place where couples honeymoon and families escape from everyday life, it’s home to many military families. Don’t forget that Hawaii also has all five branches of the military. That means people of all ages get to enjoy life, stationed in paradise.