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News | June 30, 2017

McNamara HQC Family Day provides time for fun and family

By Dianne Ryder

Sunshine, cooler-than-average temperatures and a plethora of activities and games provided a picture perfect backdrop for thousands of employees to connect with family members and each other during the 2017 McNamara Headquarters Complex Family Day. 

Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, the new director of the Defense Logistics Agency, welcomed employees from all HQC organizations and their guests. 

“I want to start out by saying how delighted I am to be the new DLA director and how welcome my wife, Myra, and I have felt coming to this absolutely phenomenal organization,” Williams said. “We look forward to being a team with you here at DLA, and I would ask you all to warmly welcome her,” he said.

He recognized the other hosts of the event; directors from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Technical Information Center. 

“As wonderful as DLA is, the reality is, this is a great complex not just because of DLA, but because of all the other tenant organizations as well,” Williams said. 

Williams asked the audience to repeat after him the two things all attendees should keep in mind for the day’s event: to “have fun and be safe.”

Williams participated in the traditional fun run/walk, as did DLA Senior Enlisted Leader Army Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Tobin. Tobin retires in July and Williams thanked him for his 33 years of service.

He asked other participants to raise their hands and then called the first place finishers forward as well as children under 15 years old who participated. 

As the audience applauded the achievements, Williams joked, “If you didn’t raise your hand, you owe me 10 miles tomorrow!”

Finally, Williams called up everyone who helped plan and execute Family Day to join him.

“This doesn’t happen by itself, does it?” he asked the audience. “So I would ask you all to give these heroes a round of applause.”

In addition to several corporate sponsors who staffed information booths, several employees volunteered to provide information about their own headquarters organization. 

Deborah Reeves, a program analyst in DLA Information Operations was one of these volunteers. She said she appreciates the opportunity to meet up with colleagues and relax on Family Day.

“Oftentimes, we don’t a chance to do anything because we are so nailed to our desks,” she said. “But this is great – we get to spend time, we get to meet each other’s families and we get to make connections that can make us more profitable at work.”

Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Olabode, military deputy in DLA Logistics Operations’ Planning Division, is new to DLA and had never before attended the event. 

Olabode said his wife had to work and was unable come but that their children enjoyed the outdoor activities most of all.

“Lots of people have met my kids today,” he said. “I think it’s good to get to know families of those you work with, and this is one way to make that happen.” 

Raymond Martinez, a supply system analyst in DLA Energy, said he’s been coming to Family Day for years.

“It’s a morale booster,” Martinez said. “It’s a day to come and share with everybody else.”

Martinez said his children reconnected with friends they had known from their days at the HQC child development center. Now those children are nearly teenagers.

“Since the kids are bigger now, there are some [activities] that are more for little kids, so they’re very selective,” Martinez said. “But they still enjoy coming.” 

The theme for this year’s event, “Building a Better World,” was chosen by committee members representing all the tenant organizations, said Beverly Hicks, morale, welfare and recreation program manager for DLA Installation Support.

The HQC MWR program sponsors events like Family Day to improve quality of life and support resiliency among Headquarters Complex employees. 

Williams noted during his opening remarks that all tenant agencies support and speak to the importance of resiliency.

“This event is one of those demonstrations of our concern for the workforce and the importance of resiliency,” he said.