Joe, Nancy and Ereneo Copada
Joe Copada, his wife, Nancy and father, Ereneo, exemplify the Exchange phrase “family serving family.”
The Copadas have served America’s troops and their families for more than 90 years combined.
For 30 years, Ereneo, worked in what was then known as the “data processing” department. Joe worked in maintenance and retail for more than 30 years and retired in 2011. Today, his wife, Nancy, is a general manager in the Middle East.
“As my father, who always talked about AAFES, I am proud to have helped military families worldwide,” said Joe, “You get the satisfaction of serving the military families and learning the love that families share.”
To Nancy, general manager for Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan, family serving family “means so many things to me with our daughter in the Navy serving in San Diego. I also have the opportunity to deploy and work closely with the military. Being able to support the troops with opening of facilities and seeing the joy in their faces when they get to shop at AAFES again brings a feeling of home to Soldiers here in contingency.”
Jerry Carroll has similar experiences being deployed to Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
“The camaraderie was much tighter then,” said Carroll, who has since transferred back from Kuwait to Japan’s Misawa AB. “We were still fresh off of 9/11 and wanted to do something for our country.”
“The men slept in plywood rooms inside the warehouse. Hearing the tops of cans exploding in the night because of the heat was a neat treat.”
HR Tech Sophia Henvill at Travis AFB, Calif., recalled the camaraderie and “lifelong friendships” she developed as a deployed associate. Before working at the Exchange, she served in Operation Desert Storm and today is in the Army Reserves.
“I’m with the Exchange today because I love what we stand for,” Henvill said. “I still reflect back on the first time I saw the AAFES sign on the front of that large olive-green tent in the middle of the desert.”
See your story in the Exchange Post by sending your family serving family experience to email@example.com.