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Trick or Treat!

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

U.S. Air Force Col. Thang T. Doan, 18th Mission Support Group commander, welcomes Okinawa children to a Halloween trick-or-treat event Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The event enabled service members to share traditional holiday customs with children from surrounding neighborhoods as one of many different types of community relations programs designed to build trust and understanding between U.S. and Japanese culture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

Team Kadena volunteers and Okinawa families trick-or-treat in celebration of Halloween Oct. 31, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The event enabled service members to share traditional holiday customs with children from surrounding neighborhoods as one of many types of community relations programs designed to build trust and understanding between U.S. and Japanese citizens. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

Team Kadena volunteers and Okinawa families trick-or-treat in celebration of Halloween Oct. 31, Kadena Air Base, Japan. The event enabled service members to share traditional holiday customs with children from surrounding neighborhoods as one of many types of community relations programs designed to build trust and understanding between U.S. and Japanese citizens. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

U.S. military family members hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The base hosted a cultural exchange for Okinawa residents to share holiday customs with U.S. service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

U.S. and Okinawa trick-or-treaters roam from house to house for candy during Halloween Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th Wing hosted more than 150 Okinawa residents who joined U.S. service members and families as part of a friendship-building cultural exchange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

Okinawa children pick candy during a Halloween trick-or-treat event Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. Japanese residents participated in a cultural exchange allowing a portion of local communities to experience trick-or-treating with service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

Team Kadena volunteers and Okinawa families trick-or-treat in celebration of Halloween Oct. 31, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The event enabled service members to share traditional holiday customs with children from surrounding neighborhoods as one of many types of community relations programs designed to build trust and understanding between U.S. and Japanese citizens. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

Okinawa children ride a bus to Kadena Air Base during a Halloween trick-or-treat event Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The base hosted a small portion from the local communities around Kadena in order to share holiday customs with host nation partners. Team Kadena conducts a variety of programs designed to build friendships and strengthen relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them

U.S. Air Force Col. Thang T. Doan, 18th Mission Support Group commander, welcomes Okinawa children to a Halloween trick-or-treat event Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The event enabled service members to share traditional holiday customs with children from surrounding neighborhoods as one of many different types of community relations programs designed to build trust and understanding between U.S. and Japanese culture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Team Kadena welcomed over 200 local community members and participated in trick-or-treating with them
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Okinawa families kick off an annual Halloween trick-or-treat event Oct. 31, 2018, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The base opened its gates to a portion of the local community to share the traditional custom of trick-or-treating to enhance relations with host nation partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

KADENA AIR BASE --

Candy! Buckets and buckets of candy awaits eager Okinawa children as they boisterously flock around the 18th Mission Support Group commander, Col. Thang T. Doan as he greets families to the Halloween trick or treat cultural exchange.

 

More than 150 visitors from surrounding communities ebbed with excitement as the commander made his welcoming remarks.

 

On behalf of Brig. Gen. Cunningham, I’d like to welcome you all to Kadena,” Col. Doan said. “Halloween is a very fun tradition, and we’re very happy that you could join us in today’s celebration!”

 

This year’s Halloween gave Team Kadena a chance to build friendships and cultural awareness with Japanese communities in a fun and friendly family environment.

 

It is opportunities like this sharing of cultures that make Kadena such a unique place,” Col. Doan said. “We are honored to have you share in some of our traditions, and we look forward to continuing to share in yours.”

 

Okinawa children, such as seven-year-old Neil Tamaki, seemed to look forward to it for a much simpler reason.

 

I’ve been trick-or-treating on base before,” he said. “The fun thing about Halloween is that I can get lots of snacks. I want to join this event again.”

 

With the full support of the 18th Logistics Squadron, the 18th Security Forces Squadron, and Team Kadena volunteers, the trick-or-treat cultural exchange event successfully integrated into endless herds of American and Japanese children roaming the streets for the next handful of candy.

 

Col. Doan appreciated how families of two different cultures enjoyed the pleasure of creating fond memories for their children, together as a single community.

  

By opening our gates and our homes to our local neighbors, we help bridge the gap between the two cultures, and what better way to do that than with these fun events where children are the focus,” he exclaimed.