Perez brings culture, faith to his work with the less fortunate

December 25, 2010 • Local News

Capt. Beau Perez, 53, a native of Guam, has brought to Roswell a world of culture, knowledge and understanding as the new Corps Officer at Roswell’s Salvation Army for the past year. Perez said he naturally incorporates values of faith and traditional beliefs from his jungle roots on the island Guam into his job.

“(Guam) is kissing island,” he said. “On Guam, you kiss your elders’ hands. After church, young people, when the elders walked out of church they would wait to get a blessing from their elders. It’s all about family.”

Much of what Perez does as an administrator, “delegator,” pastor and teacher at the Salvation Army is centered around family values and helping others mend the fences of their lives back together. He said that growing up in Guam taught him about the responsibilities that others have to their loved ones and their community.

[auth] “Nobody ever goes hungry on Guam,” he said. “There will never be a convalescent home on Guam, because no matter how old your grandparents get, you take care of them … it requires that somebody be at home all day.”

During the week, Perez makes his home at the Salvation Army, 612 W. College Blvd., where he leads Sunday services and programs like Life’s Healing Choices. Life’s Healing Choices is a 12-step rehabilitation program for individuals struggling with addictions. Perez works with addicts from all walks of life, who suffer from various addictions, which require a certain meekness as prescribed by his Christian faith.

“People who have been hurt are very cautious or skittish, they don’t want to be hurt anymore,” Perez said. “If you approach them with humility, that’s kind of disarming, then you can have a conversation and accomplish what the goal is. (You have to explain to them]) ‘I’m really just like you, except my circumstances are different.’”

Perez graduated from United States Military Academy at Westpoint in 1982 with a bachelor’s of science degree. During that time, Perez also served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic and infantry officer. He continued his service through 1988. In 1992, Perez earned his theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

While in the military, Perez’s tenure took him back home to Guam, Germany and cities all over the U.S., where he said he learned how to become a planner. He credits his acquired skill of planning with helping him on a mission he completed with California’s Salvation Army branch before moving to Roswell.

“Doing disaster work, you’ve got to do the best you can with what you have,” he said. “During Hurricane Rita … we spread out the map and executed Vietnam battle tactics — only with food. Instead of search and destroy, it was search and feed. The military does that for you.”

This holiday season, Perez is doing exactly that. Through the Salvation Army, in partnership with Golden Corral, he’s distributing holiday cookies to about 40 churches in the community. He characterized the Salvation Army’s work as the servitude that Martha, of the Bible’s New Testament, displays. He said that the organization’s responsibility is to serve and help others become happy.

“As many people as I can influence to become reasonably happy — supremely happy, I want to return the maximum investment … in lives that have discovered Christ.” Perez, a father of five, has been married to his wife, Mandy, for 29 years.

His hobbies include blogging and playing Xbox with his sixth-grade son Daniel.

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