USO Okinawa Staff Highlight: Chiyomi Maekawa

by William Stanley, USO Futenma/Kinser Center Director
Stripes Okinawa

Name: Chiyomi Maekawa 

Position/Title: Center Operations Specialist 

Time worked at USO: July 19th 1991 - Present

Center/Office location: USO Futenma


Tell Us About Them: 

Chiyomi was born and raised here in Okinawa. She started working for the USO in July 1991 and has since had a long and diverse career having worked in five different USO centers here on-island.  


Chiyomi brings an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise to USO Futenma!  Her past experiences and drive to take care of the service members each day helps us accomplish our mission.  She loves what she does and takes pride in making sure that each service member and family member that walks through our doors feel welcomed.  Chiyomi also loves putting her personal touches on our weekly program, “Dinner & a Movie.”  She is continuously researching for delicious menus to prepare and does a majority of the cooking. 


Mrs. Maekawa is a proud mother of three young men named [Kenji, Yuuki, and Toshiki], and grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren! 


Fun Questions!

Why do they love working at the USO? 


I started working for the USO 27 Years ago when the slogan was "Home Away From Home." I still believe in that. I love working for the USO because of military people and their family's connections. I strongly believe that our mission is to keep the families together wherever they are, maybe not in person, but in spirit. This is their second home and I love welcoming them with a big smile. I have three boys myself and I do have a mother’s heart, give a listening ear and help to find the answer to their questions by guiding them with comfort, home cooked meals, and all the events we do throughout the years. I can say these 27 years have been a great experience and have helped me grow as a person and an employee of the USO.


What is their favorite memory of working at the USO? 

There are so many memories it’s very hard to pick one, but if I had to pick one it would be when my father, myself, and oldest son all worked at the USO together in the early 2000's.

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