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 rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.