Kadena BX shopper earns $2,500 prize in MILITARY STAR holiday sweepstakes

U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman
U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman

Kadena BX shopper earns $2,500 prize in MILITARY STAR holiday sweepstakes

by Mark A. Kauffman
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE – Theresa Wright, resource specialist at Zukeran Elementary School, has faithfully used her MILITARY STAR card since 1992 whenever she shops at the Exchange, whether for car repairs, electronics or fuel.

By using her Military Star card in November and December, she was automatically entered into the worldwide ninth annual Your Holiday Bill Is on Us sweepstakes, where she was randomly selected as one of five grand-prize winners out of approximately 5 million entries.

“When I received an email from the Exchange Credit Program office stating that I won the grand prize, I was very hesitant to respond because I thought it was spam,” Wright said. “The message did include a phone number and I am so glad I called.”

Wright has been immersed in the U.S. military community since 1973, when she taught in Stuttgart, Germany, for U.S. Europe Command Headquarters.

She has been a teacher for 48 years, with 38 of those spent within the Department of Defense Education Activity, which has taken her all over the world, including Germany, Philippines, South Korea ,mainland Japan and Okinawa. This is her second time teaching at Zukeran Elementary and her third time teaching in Okinawa.

“Teaching is a way for me to serve my country without donning a uniform,” Wright said. “Because of the U.S. military, I have enjoyed all of my wonderful experiences teaching and I’ve visited places around the world that I never imagined that I would see in person.”

One of her most notable teaching experiences was when she taught U.S. history, U.S. government and English as a second language to active-duty infantrymen in Germany.

“This was my most memorable assignment because my students represented such varied backgrounds across America,” Wright said. “Most of my students were working towards earning their high school diplomas while others were trying to earn their American citizenship.”

Exchange Pacific Region Senior Enlisted Advisor Sgt. Maj. Generose Green and 18th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Laura C. Ramos, along with Exchange leadership David Swenson, Okinawa general manager, and Flor Payton, Kadena main store manager, congratulated Wright and presented her with a mock check to represent her grand prize—a $2,500 MILITARY STAR statement credit.

“We are so proud and honored to present Mrs. Wright with this reward,” Green said. “She is a valued member of our military community for all that she has done and will continue to do to educate our warfighter’s youngest heroes.”

The MILITARY STAR card is an exclusive line of credit for service members and their families to use at Exchanges – no matter where they serve. Cardholders also, earn 2% in rewards on purchases, including at the commissary, 10% restaurant discounts and save 5 cents on every gallon at Exchange fuel locations.

Photo Caption:
Front row, from left: (Kadena Operations Manager Hollie Nagamine, Pacific Region Senior Enlisted Advisor SGM Generose Green, 18th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Laura C. Ramos, Zukeran Elementary School Resource Specialist Theresa Wright, Kadena Store Manager Flor Payton, Kadena Sales & Merchandise Manager Armando Moncayo-Pallares; back row, Sales & Merchandise Manager Jason Salvage and Okinawa General Manager David Swenson pose for a picture at the official Your Bill is on Us awards presentation. Wright was one of five grand prize winners in the ninth annual MILITARY STAR Your Bill Is on Us sweepstakes. Wright has been with DoDEA for the past 38 years traveling all over the world and has taught in Germany, Philippines, South Korea and mainland Japan and Okinawa. This is her second time teaching at ZKES and her third time teaching in Okinawa.

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