Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
It started as an offer to tempt his daughters to join him at a woodworking safety class. Captain Gerard “Hank” Mauterer didn’t know ordering a large drink would make the trip unforgettable.
To use the woodworking facility on Kelley Barracks, Mauterer was required to take a safety course. He invited his wife, who shares his interest in woodworking, and offered to take his daughters to Subway before the class if they would also attend. His youngest daughter, Olivia, had the honor of pulling the prize tab on Mauterer’s drink — and discovered that he had won a $5,000 Exchange shopping spree.
Mauterer, Chaplain for the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group Airborne, calls himself a “natural skeptic,” and so even when he saw he had won, he withheld excitement.
“I don’t count my chickens before they’ve hatched,” Mauterer said. “It wasn’t until I got the call from the Exchange that I realized it was real.”
Mauterer was one of three Subway Sip.Rip.Win peel-off game winners out of Patch Barracks who were honored this month in ceremonies with Exchange leadership. General Manager Michael Ryan congratulated Mauterer as he presented the family with a giant gift card in front of the Kelley Barracks Subway, where the winning cup was purchased, on June 24. Mauterer was also honored at the KMC Exchange on June 22, where he elected to use his shopping spree.
The Exchange has been instrumental while the family is stationed overseas, Mauterer said.
“The Exchange has items and name brands we have come to trust over the years,” Mauterer said. “The food court has been a sincere blessing and place of fellowship for us.”
For Mauterer, returning to the Army as a Chaplain after 17 years as a civilian and seven previous years of service as a commissioned officer was a calling. Mauterer deployed to Iraq in 2015 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and, with his family, has been in Germany for 10 months.
“This is where we are meant to be,” Mauterer said. “I don’t have any plans to retire because it’s not really up to me.”
Mauterer and his family spent most of the unexpected funds on essentials — from laundry detergent and groceries to clothes for his teenaged daughters. However, there is one high-end item Mauterer and his wife are still considering.
“We’d like to get an electronically-assisted bicycle,” Mauterer said. “That would certainly make riding around post a little easier!”