Member Profiles

Dane Kaimuloa

Dane KaimuloaOceanside, California is the hometown of Dane Kaimuloa, who was born on the Marine Corp Base at Camp Pendleton. “That’s right! You guessed it, my dad was a retired Marine out of Camp Pendleton,” said Kaimuloa. “Me and my brothers all joined the service, too.”

“I joined the U.S. Navy when I was 17 years old in high school.” Kaimuloa explained. “I was on the Delayed Entry Program so as soon as I graduated, I was off to Boot Camp in Great Lakes.”

Kaimuloa did two years service at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and two years in Sasebo, Japan on the USS Beaufort ATS-2 Salvage and Rescue Ship. This was followed by two years reserved duty – “Then, I got out.”

“Due to my father’s death, I had to cut my military career short to take care of my mom,” the Temecula, California resident explained. “I landed a Civil Service Job at Camp Pendleton in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Shop where I am currently waiting for my retirement papers to go through for my 20 plus years of service to the Marines.”

In 2006, while Kaimuloa was working at Camp Pendleton, he was sent to Iraq. “I joined the California National Guard in January, 2002. I was put on orders to go to Iraq in 2005. I had to go to school for a year to learn how to fly the ‘Shadow’ UAV for the U.S. Army.”

Kaimuloa reports that “My unit was stationed at the forward site of the air strip in Talquadem, Iraq. I developed heart problems when I was there and I had to be Medivac’ed out to Landstuhl, Germany where I had surgery for my right side hernia and a full body work up.”

While in Germany, Kaimuloa was impressed with the care he received. “I felt like the President – it was the best medical care I have ever had in my life. They found that I had hearing loss in both ears, right hip socket small tear in my labrum, spur in left foot heal, left knee arthritic deterioration of the joint, lower back degenerated disc, left elbow ulna nerve pinched, both wrists have arthritis in the joints, left and right shoulders have arthritic joints, neck has degenerated disc, heart was and still has uncontrollable hypertension. Go figure!”

Kaimuloa returned to the United States following his treatment. “I didn’t know I had combat PTSD until I came back to the States at Fort Lewis, Washington. I felt so alone and lost like I was in a foreign country. I was supposed to only be on orders for two years and be back to my job and family.”

Placed on medical hold for two years, Kaimuloa medically retired in April 2009. “I still have all the problems that I had back in 2007,” he reports. “Some got worse and others never changed. The doctors at the VA don’t know what to do about my heart. They still can’t get my high blood pressure under control and I am getting tired of taking so much meds.”

Noting he doesn’t get out much owing to his injuries, Kaimuloa reports that whenever he is invited to events with other soldiers, he signs up. “That is the main reason why I signed up for the ‘Soldiers to the Summit at Snowbird.'”

“I need to get some exercise, ’cause I am tipping the scales at 300 pounds. I have so many injuries that it makes it hard to exercise to lose the weight. I want people to know that not only the injuries that you can see are bad, but the ones you can’t see are the worst, at least for me.”

Above image courtesy Dane Kaimuloa.