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Watertown Salvation Army officers relocating to Niagara Falls

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WATERTOWN — Watertown Salvation Army Lts. Zeb T. and Summer R. Hough have been reassigned to Niagara Falls.

The Houghs have been stationed at the Watertown agency, 723 State St., since June 2012. They replaced Capt. Evelyn M. Hopping, who was reassigned to Oneonta after spending seven years here.

“It’s bittersweet,” Lt. Zeb Hough said. “We haven’t been here as long as we thought we’d be here for.”

Their last day in office will be June 20, their last worship event two days later.

In a short stint in the north country, Lt. Hough said, he and his wife learned that Salvation Army services make a difference.

“We’ve seen lives change in two years,” he said. “This community has rallied around us asking for help.”

Lt. Summer Hough said her experience in Watertown has taught her humility. “We’ve never seen a community with such a heart,” she said. “If we learned anything, it’s I just need to open my mouth and ask.”

Salvation Army officers do not choose where they go or how long they will be there. Officers are mobilized at any time when there is a need for transfer, Summer Hough said.

The Houghs previously were stationed at the Salvation Army in Liverpool, where they served for three years.

In the past two years, they have revised and expanded youth program offerings, increased the agency’s volunteer base and promoted the Watertown Salvation Army through outreach. Lt. Hough said she and her husband will determine the Niagara Falls area’s needs once they arrive this summer.

The Watertown and Niagara Falls Salvation Army organizations differ in that the former has youth programs and a soup kitchen, and acts as a referral source, while the latter operates an after-school program and acts more as a social services agency, Zeb Hough said.

Before they leave Watertown, the Houghs will kick off its community carnival, prepare for the summer drop-in center and lay groundwork for fall/winter fundraising.

The Houghs met many years ago at a Salvation Army camp. They have two children, Isaiah L., 5, and Eden B., 3. June marks five years of being Salvation Army officers. Both will become captains.

The Houghs said they remain committed to the Salvation Army, and eventually will be stationed at an agency in another country.

Since both of them speak Spanish, they would like to be posted in a Spanish-speaking place.

The Watertown Salvation Army’s next leader, Maj. Robin Holmes, is stationed with the Meadville, Pa., Salvation Army. She will take over June 29.

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