President To Recognize Honolulu Volunteer

Eloise Monsarrat
Eloise Monsarrat

(KHNL) - During his short stopover, President Bush will also honor a Honolulu woman. She will be recognized for all of her time spent helping hospital patients recover.

Eloise Monsarrat scrolls through her album and recalls the memories. She volunteers with the Human Animal Bond Program at Tripler Army Medical Center. It's a pet therapy program, allowing patients to interact with animals to help in their recovery.

"It's something that you do that you know is helping," said Monsarrat.

She's helped countless people, and for that, she's getting an award from President Bush. Monsarrat says the honor was unexpected.

"Because he seldom comes through," said Monsarrat. "Thank goodness he's never been at Tripler to be healed."

Her biggest worry -- what to wear. Monsarrat says she'll wear her uniform.

Monsarrat is humbled, but has just one request for the commander in chief.

"I just would ask for all the support they could give us because it's a great way to help people," she said.

In her 16-years at tripler, officials estimate Monsarrat put in 10,000 hours with her dogs.

"I can't believe I spent that much time," said Monsarrat. "But I know that they were all pleasant."

The 84-year old says she'll keep doing it, until she's not wanted. And by the smiles on her patients' faces, that'll probably never happen.

Since 2002, more than 500 people across the country have been honored with the president's Volunteer Service Award.