The mission of the Na Koa Wounded Warrior events is to honor and support our wounded and their families, and the families of our fallen.
Launched in 2009, Malama Na Koa organized the regatta to assist recovering troops through the ‘healing power’ of the Hawaiian waters. The first event took place at the Pearl Harbor Marina with 67 teams from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and other organizations. The Hawaii Chapter of the Association of the United States Army has hosted the event since 2014. The Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta has since expanded to include Gold Star families in the Wounded Warrior & Family Division, a Youth Honor Heat, two VIP Exhibition Heats, and a Gold Star Medallion Presentation. The event has grown to include nearly 500 paddlers, 175 volunteers, and roughly 300-400 spectators.
We have also added two events during the week prior to the Regatta: a Health & Wellness Symposium on Wednesday and a Na Koa Wounded Warrior Reception on Thursday evening.
Our Na Koa Wounded Warrior Grand Marshals have included:
2014: Colonel (Retired) Gregory Gadson
2015: Staff Sergeant (Retired) Thomas Lee
2016: Sergeant First Class (Retired) Sualauvi Tuimalealiifano
2017: The Nisei Warriors of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, represented by Mr. Yoshiaki Tanaka
2018: Major Raymond O’Donnell