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“I was born at Wahiawa General Hospital and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, in the town of Haleiwa, for 16 years, until I moved to Kohala on the Big Island with my dad.

I graduated in 1996 from Kohala High School, then moved back to Oahu and worked at the airport, loading and unloading cargo from international flights, while working construction on the side.

“After two years of of living check to check, I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I worked in a warehouse loading furniture into semi trucks to get delivered all across America. Over the years, I worked at a sheet metal company, the United States Navy, and more. I’ve also been to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Guam, Australia, Japan, Dubai, Iraq, Palau, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Russia. I got married and had a daughter, too. I ended up getting a job in Houston, Texas in 2007, and we’ve been here ever since.

“My wife and I still have our whole family in Hawaii. We go back home at least once a year. After living on the mainland for awhile, everytime we go home to visit it seems like the prices are spiking on everything. I can’t believe the price difference from the states compared to Hawaii, I really feel sorry for all the local people who are living check to check.
“In order for me to move back home, I would have to find a job that would be good enough to support me and my family, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. But coming home to visit once or twice a year is perfect. We now own two two-story homes, along with all of our “toys.” There ain’t no way we would be able to afford all of this while living in Hawaii. But like I always say: ‘Home will always be home.’ The opportunity here stateside is untouchable.”

Shannon Nery
Cypress, Texas
Former resident of Haleiwa, Oahu