Connie Kanehailua in front of the State Capitol in Olympia at our DOC Lobby Day in 2015.
Check out this post. It was written by Farrah Edward, the daughter of one of our amazing members at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane. Farrah's mother, Dorcas (aka Connie) Kanehailua, embodies the kind of outstanding service that so many of our DOC members provide. Connie served our country in the Air Force and then the residents of our state in many roles at the DOC. On March 4, she received her 30-year service pin. Congrats, Connie, and thank you for your service.
Tribute to Connie Kanehailua - By Farrah Edward
I remember the day my mother was hired and started working at Airway Heights Correctional facility. She started as a transporter. At my young age, I didn't know what exactly she did other than drive people from prison to prison. Through dedication and hard work, she promoted to a guard working the night shift.
Mind you, she had 2 daughters at home and some how managed to keep us in line with homework and chores over the phone. At 5'5" she was not someone to reckon with! She was part of the prisons emergency tactical team. She came home, pulled out all her gear for me and my sister to see, smiling and proud. She was showing us her new moves fighting with the air as we sat on the couch and watched.
Her beautiful smile was deceiving when she told my sister to stand up so she could show her the 'Yoshida Come Along'. My sister, almost 6'0 tall at this time, confidently stood up, faced my mom and in split seconds, mom had her twisted up and "coming along". Me, I grabbed my hamster and puppy and exited to my room super fast.
It was then I knew a few things. 1) make sure I get my chores and homework done with out her telling me to 2) my mom is a bad ass and 3) don't let her size and smile fool you. I guess I should also add the prison is a male facility and over the years, she definitely held her own with them.
Mom later promoted to a counselor where she was instrumental in the rehabilitation of many, many people over the years. Her story is far greater than this little post but waking up to a picture of her 30 years of service plaque makes me super proud of her. She was active duty in the Air Force for 10 years later returning to the National Guard military police for another 15 years and retiring as a Master Sgt.
Mom, thank you for your service to our country, the state of Washington and most importantly for the sacrifices you made over the years for us girls. Super proud of you!!