USAG-HI honors volunteers who donate food, pampering services

| September 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Vickey Mouze
Pau Hana Editor

Jennifer Sueoka prepares to serve a homemade pasta salad to the WTB spouses support group at the SFAC, Schofield Barracks.SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii has recognized two volunteers for their efforts at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Sept. 14, here. 

Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, presented a garrison certificate of appreciation to Jennifer Sueoka. Wendy Sato, who wasn’t present at the time, will receive her certificate in the future.

Sueoka has been cooking and serving homemade meals for the Warrior Transition Battalion’s spouse support group at the SFAC for about a year. Sueoka, who teaches at Hale Kula Elementary School, Schofield Barracks, said that preparing meals is her way of giving back.

“I come into contact with a lot of military families at school, especially the moms,” she said. “I just feel for them.

“They are very hardworking caregivers,” Sueoka continued. “A lot of them gave up their jobs to be caregivers. That takes a lot of time and energy.

“I thought it would be nice for them to have a break from cooking once a month when the group meets,” she said. “So I thought that I’d make their dinner and they could enjoy their presentations.”

While the group’s attendees vary from 10-20 spouses each month, Sueoka cooks enough for at least 20. She learned how to cook for a large crowd while growing up in Hilo. 

“My family had a lot of get-togethers, so cooking for many comes naturally,” she laughed.

Her menus usually consist of a vegetable or pasta salad; an entrée, such as shoyu chicken; and a dessert. 

“The brownies are the most popular,” she said, adding that spouses are encouraged to take home leftovers.

Wendy Sato gives a mini-massage to Victoria Hundoble during the WTB spouses support group. She and her husband, Roddy, who works at the SFAC, serve dinner then start cleaning up when that night’s presentation begins. 

During the presentation, Sato will treat each spouse to either a mini-massage or a hand massage and manicure-shaping. Each spouse gets her own private session.

“The spouses need pampering,” Sato said. “They’re so busy looking after their kids and husbands. So, they need a little TLC (tender loving care) too, and someone to look after them.”

Sato is a licensed cosmetologist and massage therapist. This particular evening was the third time she’d made the trip from the shop where she works downtown to Schofield. 

“I think it’s great that Jennifer and Wendy are being recognized for what they do here,” said Jessica Armel, leader for the WTB spouse support group. “They deserve the recognition. 

“They don’t expect anything out of it. It’s their way of giving back,” she said.

The SFAC or Na Kao Puuhonua, the Warrior Place of Refuge, is the centralized location where Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers and families can get needed integrated services and information. 

The SFAC belongs to Army Community Service, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, USAG-HI.

Category: Army Community Covenant, Community, Community Relations

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