126 Years of Family Serving Family: David Campbell, Kadena BX

On April 1, David Campbell, Health and Beauty Care associate and Armando Moncayo-Pallares, Kadena main store sales and merchandise manager pose for a picture after Campbell received his one-year service award. Campbell, a native of California, is an Air Force veteran who served for more than 33 years.
On April 1, David Campbell, Health and Beauty Care associate and Armando Moncayo-Pallares, Kadena main store sales and merchandise manager pose for a picture after Campbell received his one-year service award. Campbell, a native of California, is an Air Force veteran who served for more than 33 years.

126 Years of Family Serving Family: David Campbell, Kadena BX

by Mark A. Kauffman
Army & Air Force Exchange Service

The Exchange offered more than just a paycheck to Customer Experience Associate David Campbell, who was recognized in April with his one-year service award at the Kadena Exchange in Okinawa, Japan.

When Kadena’s Main Store Manager Flor Payton received Campbell’s award, she thought it was a little odd because Campbell just started to work for the Exchange in January. Unbeknownst to her, Campbell first worked for the Exchange in 1986 in the food court at the Military Airlift Command on Norton Air Base.

The Exchange rewards associates for their time of service after the first year and then awards them in increments of five years for their continued employment.

“I was very surprised when I was called to the manager’s office and was given my one-year service award,” Campbell said. “I didn’t know the Exchange did that because most employers don’t give out one-year awards.”

Campbell, a native of California, joined the Air Force in 1980 as an aerospace ground equipment maintainer. He served for 33 years and reached the rank of senior master sergeant before retiring in 2012.

Campbell has three grown daughters. Salena, serves in the Army, Veronica, works as a Realtor in California, and Christina, followed in her father’s footsteps and serves in the Air Force.

After his career with the Air Force, he worked for Boeing Aerospace Company for eight years, spending five years in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before making his way to Okinawa. Campbell enjoys living in Okinawa so much that in 2021 turned down an assignment to Washington. He resigned from the company to remain on the island.

“Money isn’t everything if you’re not happy,” Campbell said. “I have made lots of friends here, and if I moved back to the States, I would have to start all over.”

Campbell met Frank Payton, Flor’s husband, randomly during a lunch break at the Kadena food court and credits him for creating an interest in pursuing employment with the Exchange in order to maintain his Status of Forces Agreement status. He now works in the Health and Beauty Care department, which includes sports nutrition and supplements.

“David has shown great work ethic and dependability, and he takes initiative,” HBC Supervisor Janelle El Masri said. “Each time I come in to work, I am impressed with what he accomplishes.”

Campbell would like to work for the Exchange for at least 10 more years in Okinawa. His hard work and dependability recently earned him a promotion to a supervisory position in the shoe department; he will start June 25.

“The best thing about working for the Exchange is knowing that I am able to support our service members with the products they need to stay healthy,” Campbell said. “Plus, the Exchange provides me the ability to stay here in Okinawa until I am ready to return to the States.”

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