FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — In recognition of May being Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are highlighting some of our U.S. Army Garrison employees who bring diversity to our workforce.
Today we spotlight Prescilla Halsey, lead budget analyst, who works in the Directorate of Resource Management.
Halsey grew up in the Philippines and was working as a bookkeeper in a local restaurant while attending college. One day she met an American Airman who was a member of the Air Force Band and had come to the restaurant where she worked. She said she was surprised when, out of all the people working there, he noticed her.
Like a modern-day fairy tale, they fell in love, and then he found out the band was being relocated to Japan. He asked her to marry him and accompany him to Japan.
Halsey said at first, she refused, saying she needed to finish college. But he didn’t want to wait, and eventually he convinced her. They spent two frantic weeks preparing their wedding.
“We tried to keep it small, but in the Philippines, most people have big families,” she said. “We invited 30 people, but 150 showed up!”
Shortly after the wedding, his squadron departed for Japan, and Prescilla did stay behind to finish her schooling. They were apart for six months before she joined him.
“And that,” she said, “was 35 years ago!”
Although the couple lives in the United States now, they still go back to the Philippines as often as they can, and Prescilla is active in the Asian-American community, including participating in a dance troupe.
But now, she says, as they get older, the Halseys are starting to feel like it is time to return to the Philippines. She and her husband recently decided they would like to retire there in a few years. Last month they finally bought the land where they will eventually build their home.
“We want to start a Christian mission there,” said Halsey. “We want to help out and feed people. There is much need there.”
Looking back, she said it is hard to believe how her story has evolved.
“I left the Philippines at 21. I’ve been gone for 35 years, and now we are making plans to go back. This is not what I thought my life would be.
“I did not plan to marry an American. I wanted to have a good life and finish college, and I thought I would work in a bank [in the Philippines]. I did not ever think I would go to the United States. But I didn’t know the plans God had for me. I’m so blessed because I got so much more than I ever expected!”
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.