THQ bids farewell to Colonels Ralph and Susan Bukiewicz

By: Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee

Following a baseball theme, the officers and employees of the USA Southern Territorial Headquarters gathered for a fun lunch and time of fellowship to bid farewell to Colonels Ralph and Susan Bukiewicz. Hailing originally from the USA Central Territory and serving in the South as chief secretary and secretary for women’s ministries respectively, the Bukiewicz have completed five and a half years in the South with three different sets of territorial leaders.

Words of farewell were shared by representative speakers Jeremy Rowland (employees) and Major Susie Erickson (officers). In preparation for their departure to USA National Headquarters, the Bukiewicz were presented with baseball jerseys for the Washington Nationals.

In their touching farewell remarks, Colonels Ralph and Sue shared their heartfelt appreciation for their service in the Southern Territory. “We were embraced from the first day,” said Colonel Susan. Then relating how a picture of the shepherd rescuing a lamb had become a mainstay in her home as an officer’s child, always taking an honored place, she was touched to find the exact picture hanging in the THQ dining room. “It was a confirmation that this was home. These have been the happiest years of our officership,” she said tearfully.

Colonel Ralph spoke of his beginnings with The Salvation Army in Milwaukee, of the Army’s warm embrace that transported him from someone who received the Army’s food and gifts, to becoming part of the corps and later into officership. Appreciating the service opportunities given to him and his wife in the territory, he concluded, “Technically, NHQ is within the boundaries of the Southern Territory, so we’re really not leaving. We’ll still be attending a Southern corps and be Southern soldiers.”

Commissioners Kelly and Donna Igleheart brought the meeting to a close with their own words of appreciation. “We appreciated the beautiful way that Ralph and Susan endeared themselves to the territory and in return, the territory embraced them as their own.”

Colonels Bukiewicz assume their new duties as National Chief Secretary and National Secretary for Women’s Ministries respectively on January 1.

Photos by Laura Dake