Two Marines from same unit wins $10K shopping spree

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

Two Marines from same unit wins $10K shopping spree

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

KADENA AIR BASE - Cpl. “Paul” In B. Lee, a safety equipment technician, and Sgt. Jacob Myers, an airframe mechanic, are far away from home while being attached to 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Their normal duty assignment is with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-463 on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.

In the three years they have worked together, this is their third deployment as they rotate from Hawaii to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, to train and then they deploy. They’ve become close battle-buddies and colleagues, always looking out for each other…nearly inseparable.

In the third week of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Subway Sip, Rip, Ultimate Trip sweepstakes Lee his squadron-mates grabbed take-out lunch at Futenma’s Subway to eat in their barracks. After he finished his meal, Lee, who was not aware of the sweepstakes, was about to throw away his trash from lunch but noticed a tab on his large Subway cup. Nonchalantly, he pulled the tab.  To his great surprise, the tab revealed he won a $10,000 Exchange shopping spree. He ran to Myers’ room and showed his friend the winning ticket.

“I was so jealous,” Myers said. “From that day, I went to Subway every chance I got, hoping I would win $10,000 ticket.”

Less than a week later, Myers and Lee drove to the same Subway where Lee won his prize and they grabbed their combo meal to go. In the car, Lee joked about Myers’ jealousy and with one smooth rip, Myers’ good-natured envy became a reality.

“I was just in shock,” Lee said. “What are the chances of both of us winning a $10,000 shopping spree? It was unbelievable, what are the odds!”

Myers remembers calling his wife, Kailee, back in Hawaii to tell her the news and she thought he was pulling her leg.  After several “Yes really…really!” and several minutes of convincing her that it wasn’t a joke, she was ecstatic and they started making a list of needed items for their young family.

The couple has been married just more than two years and they have a 10 month-old son, Jude. During his $10,000 shopping spree at the Kadena Exchange, Myers bought items for their house and plenty of diapers.

Lee, who is single and lives in the barracks, spent his prize on his parents, his girlfriend and himself.

They both bought this year’s holiday gifts for their loved ones, a bit early.

Because Lee and Myers are far from home and their pending deployment with the 31st MEU, the Exchange managers knew that shipping large items would be a struggle for the two Marines.

“We set up an easy process where they could purchase big, bulky items like a 65-inch TV at our store and we could transfer their purchase to our Exchange at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii to hold it for them upon return from their deployment,” said Kadena Exchange Store Manager Flor Peyton. “Otherwise, they would have to find a way to get everything home and they don’t have a lot of time as they are preparing for their deployment. “It was so much fun helping Sgt. Myers and Cpl. Lee with their shopping this morning.  It’s great to see the customers we support be rewarded like this.”

Subway’s sweepstakes is a part of the 125th Anniversary celebration provided for U.S. service-members, their families and anyone who are Exchange authorized patrons at participating locations on U.S. military bases in the United States, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, South Korea, Mainland Japan, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Kwajalein.

“With the Sip, Rip, and Ultimate Trip opportunity across the entire Exchange enterprise, it’s great to see how our Service Members and their families truly benefit from customer engagement programs like this,” said Col. Scott Maskery, Exchange Pacific Region commander. “Meeting and talking to Sgt. Myers and Cpl. Lee about their lucky windfall and leaning how it will help them and their families demonstrates another aspect of our team serving the best customers in the world”


Photo Caption:
Sgt. Jacob Myers, an airframe mechanic and Cpl. “Paul” In B. Lee, a safety equipment technician, temporarily attached to 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit on Camp Futenma poses with the managers of Kadena Air Base Exchange and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’ Command Team after spending the morning on a $10,000 Exchange Shopping Spree that they won on the Subway’s Sip, Rip and Ultimate Trip Sweepstakes. The two battle-buddies won their $10,000 shopping spree at the same Subway on Camp Futenma within a week of each other.

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