Two members of the Yokota Air Base, Japan, community are preparing for a deployment of sorts; and despite the short notice, they’re taking the news in stride — ready to head to the Olympics.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Eric Hemp and Tracey Myers, a retired Marine, are winners in the Anheuser-Busch Beijing Olympic Sweepstakes.
Both Hemp and Myers get to bring a guest on the journey, which includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations for four nights, sightseeing trips and $3,000 spending cash.
Five Department of Defense personnel received the prize in the States. Hemp and Myers were the international winners — ironically both from the same base.
"I don’t visibly get too excited, but I told my wife, and she got on the phone to call everybody and tell them the news," Hemp said.
Myers remembers she submitted her entry Memorial Day weekend and said her husband was irritated when she started filling out the form.
"He said, ‘You always have to stop and fill those things out.’ I remember saying to him, ‘When I win this trip to China, maybe I’ll take you.’ And then, when we got that letter, it blew my mind," Myers recounted.
Hemp says he’s looking forward to seeing boxing and diving, because he grew up watching the two sports on television.
Myers said she’s most interested in the table tennis — a major sport for China — and is thrilled to be able to see the sights and experience the cultures represented at the Games.
"I’ve wanted to see China my whole life," Hemp said. "I only have a year left in Japan so it wasn’t looking like I’d be able to make it there. To be able to go there and see the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."