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Operation Pink Pamper

Wives of U.S. military receive a day of makeovers, manicures and spa treatments.

What woman doesn't want a free day of pampering?

Independent consultants from Mary Kay, and representatives from Eric's Salon in Centreville and Costco, sponsored Operation Pink Pamper on June 11, geared toward women whose husbands are in the U.S. Armed Forces.

SOME 40 WIVES who are living on bases or in hospitals with their husbands were invited for a day of pampering at Eric's Salon, with haircuts, manicures, spa treatments and makeovers all at no cost to them.

"This is the best thing ever," said Rachel Tate, 23, whose husband Shawn is based at the U.S. Marine barracks in the District. "This is the opposite of my life right now. After having kids and taking care of everyone else, it's nice to have someone take care of you."

Mary Kay took care of the facials, spa treatments, and makeovers, while Eric and his staff dealt with the hair cutting and styling. The women could then go next door to Salon Solution and get their nails done.

Costco donated food and door prizes, and women who came in for makeovers were able to enter the drawing for a gift basket, jewelry handmade by Kym Sunday of Bead Geeks, and Mary Kay products and gift certificates.

"We wanted to love on them and provide them with free pampering," said Eileen Brookshire, 50, a Mary Kay representative and one of the people who organized Pink Pamper. "I came to Eric with the idea and he told me 'I would love to do that.' He never had a moment's hesitation."

"We really enjoy it, making them happy," said Michelle Nguyen, 36, the owner of the nail salon.

With the project underway, Brookshire and Debbie Ewert from the United Service Organization called all the local bases and Walter Reed to get the word out. They also posted flyers around the community.

Ewert, 50, also promoted Pink Pamper during her weekly meetings at Walter Reed called Girls' Time Out, where the women get together just to relax, drink coffee and chat.

"They stay at the hospital, and they were very enthusiastic about coming," said Ewert.

JENNIFER HUSS, 23, first heard about Pink Pamper when she saw a flyer in the lobby of Walter Reed, where she was with her husband, who was injured in a Humvee accident.

"It feels nice, but I feel a little guilty," said Huss, who brought her 10-week-old son Logan along to the project.

Mindy Mackley, 27, said her husband encouraged her to come to Operation Pink Pamper. "He made me come, he said 'get out of this hospital!" said Mackley. "It's been very fun here."

Said Tate, "[Shawn] is so excited for me, he knows what a girlie girl I am. He's watching the kids right now."