Nainoa Hoe Scholarship of Honor

Kalihi student receives first-ever Nainoa Hoe scholarship
Photo by Malcolm Onuma
(Left to Right)Justin Sambueno, Ohelo Kaopio, and Allen Hoe flank a portrait of 1st LT Nainoa Hoe at the Army's Battle Command Training Center which is named in honor of him
August 7th, 2007
Story submitted by Randy Obata

The Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation has selected 2007 Damien High School graduate Justin Sambueno of Kalihi as the first recipient of a $1,000 college scholarship that is being awarded in the name of Army 1st Lieutenant Nainoa Hoe of Kailua who died January 22, 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Hoe’s father, Allen Hoe, and Army COL Matthew Margotta, Garrison Commander of Schofield Barracks, presented the scholarship today to Sambueno during a ceremony at the 1st Lieutenant Nainoa Hoe Battle Command Training Center at Schofield.

Hoe, 27, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Lewis, Washington. He commanded a platoon while serving in Iraq—a command that fulfilled a life-long dream. He was with the platoon as it was patrolling Mosul on January 22, 2005, urging Iraqi citizens to vote in upcoming elections and searching for insurgents, when he was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire.

“Community service is just as important as education because it encourages people to help their community which can create better environments for people to learn and then they may branch out and help other communities until it becomes contagious, in a healthy way,” says Sambueno. “In the future, I hope to help people live better lives and create healthier communities by any way possible such as creating charities, donating to charities, or producing something of great help to society.”

The $1,000 scholarship, endowed by Waimanalo businessman Ohelo Kaopio, is being awarded to Sambueno through the Wisconsin-based Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation which has awarded hundreds of scholarships, in honor of fallen war heroes, since 1992 to students across the United States and around the world who are interested in pursuing military and public service. Kaopio last year also endowed a LaViolette scholarship in honor of the 27 Kaneohe Marines who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq the week after Hoe was killed.