Hawaiian Heartstrings: A soldier gets ukulele repaired decades after Vietnam War
Christophen Anguay’s son made it his mission to repair his father’s beloved instrument
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -A Las Vegas veteran can play his beloved ukulele like it was brand new, after his son made it his mission to have it repaired decades later.
“It’s like a like a treasure for me,” Christophen Anguay, 75, said. His wife had gifted the Kamaka ukulele to him in the 1960s, having purchased it for $35 at the time.
Anguay, who was born and raised on Oahu, was sent to Vietnam in 1968. He served abroad for nine months with the 82nd Airborne Third Brigade.
“I had my ukulele and rifle next to me. Those were my two babies. I felt safe when I had that,” he said, making sure the ukulele was by his side at combat.
Most of the servicemembers in his group passed away. “I still get emotional when I talk about it. We lost so many friends,” he said.
By the time Anguay returned back from war, his wife said her husband was unrecognizable from weight loss; she described the instrument and the case as having been through “hell and back,” and the case was beaten and hit by shrapnel.
Decades later, his son, Boze Anguay, wanted to surprise his father for Father’s Day and repair the war-torn ukulele.
“This not only symbolizes my dad, it symbolizes everyone he went to war with, everybody that died,” Boze Anguay said, taking it to Honolulu for repairs.
Anguay plays the instrument in memory of his fallen comrades daily.
“Maybe the next day [in battle], they wasn’t there. They was gone. So I’ll play for them,” he said.
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