One of the ideological bedrocks of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies is the concept of “ohana” or family. In the past, the Center has had fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, and spouses as alumni or staff. The Butler family is the first to have three generations to have worked at the Center.
Matriarch Wendy Gibson worked at the Center in the conference division back in 2002. Retired Lt. Gen. “Hank” Stackpole was president at the time.
Years later, in 2020, her daughter-in-law Jen Butler took a job at the Center in the same division. A military spouse, her husband, Col. Rich Butler, was working at the Indo-Pacific Command.
Recently their daughter, Bridget Butler, served as an intern at the Center supporting both the College and the Public Affairs Office.
Looking back on her time at APCSS, Wendy said, “one of my favorite memories was a recurring thing that happened in this very area (lanai). Every month Hank Stackpole would celebrate birthdays. He would gather them all in a line and read a horoscope. It was very good horoscope. And one that was funny and serious at the same time, mostly funny. And, of course, he had a style of reading it that enhanced it as well, and those people were described horoscope-wise to the delight of everyone else. And then we had cake and goodies. It was just a treat every month for everyone to get together. It was a family environment.”
For Jen Butler coming to DKI APCSS was a long term goal. “Unfortunately only had a year…the needs of the army,” said Jen. “It hurt my heart, to leave it really did. I wanted to work here because of mom having been her. I kept hearing about, you know, just how many things they did. And what a great place it was to work, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
“With my husband’s background, I learned a lot about the Indo-Pacific region. He was involved in planning, strategy, and things like that. The combination of those two really was the clincher for me. And when I got here, I just learned so much more about the big picture. It was such a wonderful place to work. So when Bridget had the opportunity to apply for an internship, I told her she really needed to do that, and she was only here a couple of weeks and called me and said, ‘oh, I see what you mean, and I really can see the big picture now, too.”
Will Bridget be sending a future family member to APCSS? “Yes, that’s not even a question,” she laughed. “It doesn’t even have to be a daughter. It really is a family environment, both figuratively and literally, and an eye-opening experience too in every way.”