Legend’s Pub was the place to be Friday, as nearly 400 people turned out for a luau.
The themed party included tropical drinks, a buffet with Hawaiian dishes and Polynesian dancers.
“We wanted a tropical way to invite soldiers out to enjoy summertime,” said Shelly Damo, a commercial sales manager with Fort Hood’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which hosted the event.
Soldiers and families cheered and shouted support as a team of fire dancers performed near the pool. Others participated in limbo and hula-hoop contests.
“I was really excited to have something to do, so we didn’t have to sit at home,” said Monique Reinbold, a military spouse who heard about the event while shopping at the Exchange.
Damo said the adult-oriented party was a way to test the waters for the possibility of future events.
“I like it,” said Andrea Ashworth, fiancée of a soldier.
“I don’t have kids, so all the family (events) leave me out.”
Brandon Truesdale, a chef at Club Hood, said preparing for and cooking the authentic Hawaiian meal was exciting.
“It’s a humbling experience to have this amount of people come here and enjoy themselves,” he said.
He had no idea though, he would be cooking for a battalion of Hawaii natives.
Soldiers of the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment, happened to be training at North Fort Hood for a deployment to Afghanistan and came down for the luau.
“The food was pretty comforting,” said Sgt. Jesse Dela Cruz. “We’re so tired, but it’s a nice break.”
Contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.