WAIMEA, Hawaii --
WAIMEA, Hawaii - U.S. Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 268, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, participated in the fourth annual Waimea Fall Festival. Their main attraction was a static display of the MV-22B Osprey, but their mission extended far beyond showcasing their aircraft – it emphasized building connections with the surrounding community.
After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Waimea Fall Festival returned on October 14, 2023, at the Spencer K. Schutte Waimea District Park. Families gathered at the event to eat various cuisines from local vendors, enjoy live music performances and play games with the chance to win and bring home prizes. They also got the opportunity to see a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter with an AN/APG-78 Longbow fire-control radar (FCR) system, HH-60M medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) Black Hawk helicopter, a U.S. Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), 7-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), and of course, tours of the MV-22B Osprey.
The VMM-268 Marines landed at the park’s football field at dawn and remained at the festival until late in the afternoon. During the festival, VMM-268 Marines offered eventgoers an opportunity to walk through the aircraft, sit in the cockpit and interact with the controls. The Marines remained ready and eager to answer any questions. VMM-268’s booth maintained the longest line of families during the entirety of the event, a testament to how they were able to offer an entertaining and educational experience for all.
"Being part of the Waimea Fall Festival was an incredible experience for all of us. We had the privilege of not only showing our aircraft but also connecting with the community. The smiles on the faces of the kids and their parents as they explored the aircraft and engaged with us were truly heartwarming. We believe we left a lasting impact on all those who visited our booth, and that, for us, is the most rewarding part of our service. It's moments like these that remind us why we wear our uniform with pride." said Cpl. Brennen Davidson, one of VMM-268’s crew members who volunteered at the event.
The participation of the Marines from VMM-268 in the fourth annual Waimea Fall Festival proved dedication to their community. Their static display of the MV-22B Osprey not only offered attendees a unique opportunity to interact and learn about the aircraft, but also provided an opportunity for people to engage with the Marines and learn more about their career field. VMM-268 looks forward to participating in similar events in the future, and hopes to continue cultivating community relationships.