Keawe Adventures takes pride in hiring military veterans and assisting in the transition between military service and civilian life. We proudly employ veterans from the Navy, Army, and Marines, including those that have served in combat. Our veterans are eager to learn and share their experiences. They demonstrate great discipline and leadership established through situations they were faced with at young ages. They take great pride in their service, which reflects in the way they conduct themselves and their positive actions in the community. Their experiences provide a unique dynamic while visiting historical sites on the island such as Pearl Harbor.
One of these individuals is Staff Sergeant Fernando Angueira, a 3rd generation military veteran who served 5 back-to-back combat tours in the infantry in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
During his time in the military, Fernando served in the 10th Mountain Division from 2002 to 2006 and then with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team from 2006 to 2014. Staff Seargent Fernando Angueira held honorable positions such as team leader, squad leader, and platoon sergeant. He has received multiple valor awards for his actions while serving.
While on a convoy during the elections in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Fernando Angueira’s Convoy was ambushed with a combination Improvised Explosive Device (IED) crippling his convoy and direct fire from multiple locations. One of the Humvees was struck by the IED and flipped, trapping the soldiers inside. Fernando rushed to the vehicle to save his fellow men. While under heavy fire, he was able to medically assist his soldiers, while at the same time engaging and directing returning fire to multiply enemy locations. While directing the repositioning of vehicles, another IED exploded injuring more soldiers. During this chaotic episode he was able to demonstrate leadership, suppress the enemy, and regain control of the situation. For his action he was awarded the bronze star with Valor (V-Device).
During another deployment in Helmand Province, Staff Sergeant Fernando Anguiera again put himself in harms-way, risking life and limb. While serving at a combat outpost, the area came under indirect fire. Staff Sergeant Anguieras’ squad served as the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) when indirect fire landed within the compound causing multiple casualties. One round hit a field medical compound, a refitted shipping container, where soldiers were in the process of rendering aid to a soldier who was shot earlier in the day. The round exploded, injuring four and claiming the life of another soldier. One of the wounded soldiers ran into the Tactical Operation Center to relay the situation to Staff Sergeant Fernando Angueira, who took immediate action, rushing to the scene with his squad to render first aid until medical personnel arrived. Once first aid was established, he maneuvered his squad to a section of the combat outpost where enemy attempted to breach the base. Under Staff Sergeant Fernando Anguiera’s leadership he was able to direct small arms fire to repel the enemy and secure the combat outpost. His training, leadership, and compassion for his fellow soldier are admirable traits and integral to his character.
While serving in the infantry, Fernando encountered many similar situations that have changed his life forever. He was away from his family for up to 16 months at a time, 5 years in a row, on back-to-back deployments. While deployed, Fernando was expecting a child and was sent home for 2 months to witness the birth of his son. Shortly after, he returned to war, risking his life for another 14 months.
Fernando’s stories, like many others who have deployed, sear prominent images in our minds. As military veterans, these experiences never leave us. We carry them for life. Many veterans choose to dissociate themselves or bottle their emotions, but we believe in sharing our experiences and building camaraderie. Through Keawe Adventures, our military veterans find a productive way to channel themselves, using their experiences to provide new insight and perspectives during tours. We find that it is not only meaningful for our guests to hear these personal stories, but for our veterans to be able to share them.
As a business owner of Keawe Adventures, and a veteran myself, our goal is not only to help by hiring veterans, but to offer them a way to continue to make a difference in the community. We encourage our veterans to work with the community and share their stories as a way to grow and recover from these intense combat situations.
Returning from deployment and facing the realities of civilian life is a jarring experience. The amount of personal sacrifice takes a toll mentally and physically. These individuals experience things the majority of the population will never understand, yet they come back to society willing to work hard and assimilate.
We are proud of what Staff Sergeant Fernando Angueira and our other veterans have accomplished for our country. He continues to display great discipline, leadership, and compassion, by always putting the welfare of others before himself. Fernando has medically retired from military service and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Hawaii. His ability to always seek improvement is a testament of his character and drive.
These are only two of the many stories Fernando shares with us at Keawe Adventures. These stories from our combat veterans that demonstrate sacrifice and duty to country. Keep in mind the next time you are on a tour with Keawe Adventures, you may be with one of our veterans. Take the opportunity to ask questions and witness firsthand what sacrifice for a country means, from those who have served themselves.