By Sonia Isotov
Maui County soldiers returning from deployment in 2011 can now look forward to two complimentary nights at a Maui hotel through a new program launched by Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) earlier this month.
The benefit program was the idea of military advocate and veteran Michael Covich who approached Councilmember Mike White, who is also a long time member of the MHLA through his association with the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to those serving in our armed forces, and this is a wonderful way to say thank you,” Councilmember White said. “When Mr. Covich approached me, I felt soldiers and their families deserve uninterrupted time together in a beautiful setting and MHLA has done a great job in quickly initiating this program.”
The program itself was announced to an appreciative audience at a recent “Welcome Home” event for the Army National Guard in Waikapu.
“MHLA is proud to give back to Maui County troops who selflessly defend our country,” said Carol Reimann, executive director. “We salute their efforts and are delighted to show our gratitude with this benefit program. What better place to have a much-deserved mini-vacation upon coming home from deployment than in our island paradise…the number one island in the world!”
To qualify, a soldier must be registered in a branch of the US military and must have returned from deployment in 2011. Additional information on qualifications is available at the MHLA website at www.mauihla.org.