Governor of Guam visits Camp Zama
CAMP ZAMA, Japan — Guam’s Gov. Felix Camacho paid a visit to his constituents Thursday at Camp Zama’s Dewey Park to share some traditional Chamorran food and culture and let them know that he and Guam appreciate their service.
“As the leader of Guam, I’m very proud to be here, to say hello to the men and women from Guam who are serving in the armed forces, and tell them, ‘We are very proud of you,’” Camacho said.
For Camacho, 46, the Zama visit also had another purpose. “I wish I could say I was born in 1967,” joked Camacho to the assembled crowd. “But it was 1957, when my father, who was in the U.S. Army in the Dental Corps, was stationed here, when I was born. So the joke is that I was ‘made in Japan.’”
Camacho fit the Camp Zama visit into a Pacific tour that included stops in China and Japan to promote tourism in Guam.
“It’s always been a lifelong dream to come back and see where I was born and here I am today,” said the governor.
He said his visit also is in the spirit of giving. He said for three successive winter holiday seasons during the Vietnam War, his father had travelled to that country “to bring care packages, and the good will of the people of Guam, to the men and women who were fighting back then.”
“Fortunately, we are not here in war but I want to carry on that same tradition whenever I have the opportunity, to bring greetings from Guam on behalf of our people.”
Maj. Harry Blanco, senior Army Reserve advisor, U.S. Army Japan, said, “I’m really excited the governor made the effort to come over here to Camp Zama and visit the military members around here as well as the civilians that are stationed here.
“This has been the first time we’ve ever had a Guam governor visit us. The community of residents here from Guam are very proud.”
Camacho’s visit was also a bit of a reunion for Blanco, a 22-year Army veteran.
“Me and the governor, kind of grew up together,” he said. “We used to play basketball together, so it’s a nice reunion.”
Another soldier from Guam who said he glad to see the governor was Pfc. Joshua Cruz, a computer technician with Zama’s 78th signal battalion.
“It’s great he came. At least he can see face-to-face who is out here and actually shake the hands of each one of us,” Cruz said. “It was a good, inspiring experience.”