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Spouses celebrate another month closer to redeployment

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SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — As chil- dren played tag at free child care site less than a mile away, spouses of deployed Soldiers enjoyed an adult version of game night at the Nehelani here, July 30.

Board games, including Scattergories and the nerve-shattering game, Jenga, adorned tables. Pupus filled plates as ladies enjoyed a stress-free night of old fashioned fun. Conversations passed between old friends and new acquain- tances as each shared stories about de- ployment.

“This is a chance to drop off the kids and become kids ourselves,” said fam- ily member Kristin Walters. “We can take a break and have our own girls’ night out.”

The Big R: Countdown to Redeploy- ment party is a free, monthly event hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) to celebrate the passing of another month of deploy- ment. Each month FMWR provides free pupus, free child care and a differ- ent, fun activity for spouses to pass the time.

Past celebrations have included Pic- tionary, makeover nights, karaoke and bingo.

Back at the Nehelani, laughter and chatter filled the room as women scram- bled to get the most points at each game for a chance to win a mp3 player, do- nated by FMWR.

Wii bowling was projected on a big screen and participants tried their hands at the infamous video game their chil- dren have most likely mastered.

“It’s our turn to have little fun,” joked family member Lyndsay Tullius.

As the night progressed, small groups rotated around the room to enjoy each of the games.

“This is a chance for us to bond and work together as a team,” said family member Dawn LaBay. “This is our night to meet new people and share a com- mon experience.”

Spouses also snapped pictures hold-

ing signs stating the number of months they “have made it” to send to their Soldiers downrange.

The event is another way FMWR strives to provide a positive and fun environment for Blue Star card holders.

“We try to provide a relaxed laid- back atmosphere where our spouses can have some fun and celebrate another month completed,” said Sarah Horrigan, Army Family Covenant program coor- dinator, FMWR.

“This is something we all look forward to,” said family member Lori Gleichen- haus. “It’s nice to have a fun evening out while our husbands are gone, especial- ly when we don’t have to host or clean up afterwards.”

Family member Kristin Walters carefully the stack. Spouses of deployed Soldiers of fun and games provided by FMWR.

places a Jenga game piece on top of gathered at the Nehelani for an evening


Master Chef Martin Yan hands Spc. John Perez, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, an auto- graphed copy of one of his many cookbooks. The meet and greet following Yan's cooking demonstration gave military members a chance to talk one-on-one with the famed chef.

Martin Yan cooks up fun at NEX

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PEARL HARBOR — More than 100 aspiring chefs crowded around a long table filled with delicacies at the Navy Exchange Hawaii (NEX) here, Sunday, to learn from a master.

Certified Master Chef Martin Yan provided an educational and jocular demonstration, cooking with his ever-popular ingredient — wit. Yan joked with the crowd as he prepared fried rice, grilled beef and spicy chicken. Participates laughed, took notes and watched as an amaz- ing feast was prepared before their eyes.

The celebrated host of the award-winning national cooking show “Yan Can Cook” is also known as a highly respected food con- sultant, a cooking instructor, and a prolific au- thor of more than 20 cookbooks. Yan also founded the Yan Can International Cooking School in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has opened a slew of Yan Can restaurants around the U.S.

“I grew up watching (Yan’s) cooking show with my mother,” said Spc. John Perez, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion. “Being here is just like watching him on TV. He has an en- tertaining humor about him.”

Born in Guangzhou, China, to a restaurateur father and a mother who operated a grocery store, Yan developed a passion for cooking at an early age. His formal induction into the culinary world began at 13 with an appren- ticeship at a popular Hong Kong restaurant. He refined his natural talent at the Overseas In- stitute of Cookery in Hong Kong and then

pursued a Masters of Science degree in Food Science at the University of California at Davis.

Yan used his highly skilled talents in the hourlong cooking demonstration as members of the military ohana watched in awe.

As the demonstration ended, participants waited patiently, cookbooks in hand, for a chance to meet Yan. He spoke briefly with fans and autographed cookbooks, writing a unique and personal message to each person. Camera flashes lit up the room as military members posed for pictures with the famous chef.

( T h e ) m i l i t a r y i s n o d i f f e r e n t t h e y a r e o r d i n a r y p e o p l e , ( a l t h o u g h ) ... t h e s a c r i f i c e s t h e y m a k e a r e a n y t h i n g b u t o r d i n a r y .

Martin Yan Master Chef

“I travel all over the world and educate many types of people,” said Yan. “(The) mil- itary is no different, they are ordinary peo- ple … (although) the sacrifices they make are anything but ordinary.”

“This is a hectic time and working with them makes me feel good,” continued Yan. “Sometimes we all need to slow down and laugh a little.”

Yan currently resides with his wife and chil- dren in Hillsborough, Calif., where he grows his own vegetables and herbs in his backyard.

The Sanyo Fisher Company sponsored the Yan Can Cook event.

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