New Operation Mahalo honoree named

MA1 Kelly Wilson, accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Bryson, receives the Operation Mahalo award.

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth
Contributing Writer

Master of Arms 1st Class Kelly Wilson, of Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, is the latest recipient to be honored by the Armed Forces YMCA Operation Mahalo program.

“Kelly Wilson has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” said Stanley Lum, executive director of Armed Services YMCA of Honolulu, at the Oct. 2 ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“He has been called the command’s most knowledgeable and effective investigator.”

Lum also praised Wilson’s role as a mentor to 40 Sailors as well as a volunteer tutor at Pearl City Elementary School.

Operation Mahalo was launched by Paul Brown of Hawaii’s Paul Brown Salons in appreciation of the sacrifices made daily by military members and their families. Winners receive a personalized hair and body makeover, as well as dinner and a two-night hotel stay.

Wilson said he did not expect the honor. “I was shocked,” he said. “I knew I was coming here today for some sort of recognition, but I didn’t know what.”

Wilson and his wife, Elizabeth, hope to take advantage of the free hotel stay before December, when they transfer to a new duty station in Georgia.

As for the makeover, he said his wife would be the one to use it, though she had other thoughts.

“He deserves the pampering,” she said.

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Category: Life & Leisure