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As Seen in MidWeek: Nolan “Alika” Kaakanui

June 11, 2014

Featured in the June 10, 2014 issue of MidWeek is Nolan “Alika” Kaakanui. Most members of the Hawaii Air National Guard know him as a technical sergeant who has been around a few years. Well there is more to Alika’s life story and how be came to join the Hawaii Air Guard.


As a senior at Aiea High School, Nolan “Alika” Kaahanui was lost.

Dabbling in substance abuse and far from receiving his high school diploma, he already was on probation and facing another year of it. Then, in a gas station, he stumbled upon a brochure for Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy (YCA).

After showing it to his counselor and speaking about it with his probation officer and judge, Kaahanui eventually enrolled in the program.

What followed wasn’t an overnight transformation. The military-style program was physically and mentally demanding, and within the first week, Kaahanui wanted out.

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