Soldiers and family members mosey down to the ranch to take part in the wild west fun

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Wearing cowboy hats and serving up chili, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) hosted a western-themed Recreation "Round-Up" expo at the Tropics, here, Aug. 7.

The expo corralled together more than 25 organizations from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, giving community members an opportunity to collect information and speak with a variety of representatives.

"The main intent of the event is to highlight what FMWR does for the Soldiers and their family members," said Steve Takekawa, chief marketing and program manager, FMWR.

Spc. Ryan Heard, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and his wife, Nichole, who have made good use of FMWR's programs, attended the roundup, and saddled up to each booth to enjoy snacks, drinks and information.

"There's always something new. They're always open to suggestions," Heard said.

FMWR food service facilities took advantage of the opportunity to show and tell what they do best.

Driving the chuck wagon and serving up the chow - or cups of chili - were Katie Wirtz and Kris Young from the Nehelani Banquet and Conference Center, Schofield Barracks.

"Nehelani has good food, great atmosphere and excellent service," Young said, while offering a hearty portion of the chili to a passerby.

At the Child, Youth and School Services (CYS2) booth, Sandy Salisbury, program administrator, introduced parents to the many classes available for children in the performing arts, academics, fitness and life skills, while children ages 2-6 years old from the Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills (SKIES) Unlimited program performed on stage.

One of the more popular stops in the line of expo booths was the Information, Ticketing and Registration (ITR) booth manned by a group of representatives eager to share information about the services they provide to the community.

"We sell tickets to local activities on the island, and we book trips to Maui or other Hawaiian Islands and cruises," said Mallory Schell, ITR representative. "Basically, almost any activity you want to do in the islands, we sell military tickets for."

Wanda Pimentel, wife of Sgt. Angel Pimentel, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said ITR's booth presented great ideas for trips and activities that her husband and she can participate in when he returns from Iraq.

However, until he returns, Pimentel said she is enthusiastic about the activities at the Arts and Crafts Center, such as ukulele and lei making, weaving and quilting. She's also happy the Auto Skills Center offers services such as oil changes, inspections and detailing.

Pimentel said the three-hour event made it easy to explore the different aspects of FMWR in one place.

"I found out there's a whole lot more than I thought there was," Pimentel said. "It blew me away."

The roundup also included a booth featuring FMWR partner, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).

"AAFES is here for the military, and we are proud of being a part of the community," said Ikuko Dillon, AAFES Hawaii Exchange human resources manager. "An event like this lets us interact with the community, and we appreciate the extended invite."