Richmond, Va –
Editorial by Leon Moore, DLA Aviation Public Affairs
As I sat down to write this article, a catchy tune came to mind, Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair." So I pulled the song up on YouTube, put on my headphones, let the music play and the creative juices began to flow.
I started thinking about the different family tree dynamics here at Defense Logistics Agency Aviation in Richmond, Virginia. I unearthed, with the help of some who’ve been around a lot longer than this boy, during the interviewing process; husbands and wives, three generations and in-laws.
I traced the Derick and Cynthia Stinchcomb branch of the DLA Aviation family tree. He’s a supervisor within Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate’s Contract Administration Division. She’s one of three career program administrators within the Command Support Directorate’s Career Development Branch.
Derick said they’ve both worked at DLA Aviation for close to 10 of the 33 years they’ve been married.
“We’re best friends. We’re real close. We enjoy each other’s company,” he said.
“My husband is not only my friend. He’s also a mentor to me. There will be times I have decisions to make, even though he gives me the opportunity to think it out and make my own decisions, he also gives me some pros and cons and tells me to figure it out,” she said.
But they were both quick to point out that’s usually the extent on their daily interaction while they’re both at work.
“He’s Mr. Stinchcomb at DLA and I’m Mrs. Stinchcomb at DLA. We rarely see each other, unless it’s planned. We let work be work and home be home,” Cynthia said.
She was also quick to point out they rarely, if ever, talk shop at home.
“Most of the time we’re focused on what we have to do at the house when we get home or what we have to do to catch up with the kids,” she said.
As we end the interview, Derick said he believes he and his wife are an asset to the DLA Aviation mission of supporting the nation’s warfighter.
“She’s been the spouse of an active duty Army soldier who knows the feeling of sitting overseas waiting on a part, so we both understand the urgency of what we do here,” he said.
After the Stinchcombs, I moved on down the DLA Aviation family tree to another fascinating husband and wife branch, Jeremy and Crystal Holmes.
Jeremy’s a product specialist within the Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate’s Aviation Rotary Wing and Auxiliary Components Division. He’s been at DLA Aviation for three years. Crystal is an integrated supply team chief within Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate’s Electrical Components and Cables Division. She started at DLA Aviation back in 2007.
The couple is still pretty close to being in the honeymoon phase of their marriage, having only tied the knot two years ago, but they had been together six years before that.
For them, according to Jeremy, working together has its perks, mainly for Crystal!
“Before I was able to telework, we were riding in every day together. She was able to get in an extra 45 minutes of sleep in the morning and got curb side service every day,” he said.
And who said chivalry is dead?
Crystal said their children, ages 4, 6, and 12 also benefit from having mommy and daddy working at the same location.
“We really couldn’t ask for better jobs. One of us is able to put the kids on the bus in the morning and one of us is able to be there in the afternoon to pick them up when they get off the bus,” she said.
But Crystal was quick to point out, “Time together at work means adult interaction without the children,” she said.
Which anyone who is or has raised children, knows is a priceless commodity.
Jeremy then said something I would’ve never expected to hear.
“Now that she has become an IST chief and she has to learn what product specialists do, some of our pillow talk involves work,” he said.
Nothing oozes romance more than talking aircraft parts! Just kidding, Jeremy. We know what you mean. Just couldn’t resist.
Ok, this next branch is a bit complicated, so pay close attention. I’m going old school on this one.
Here’s a story of a man named Jeremy Prince. He’s a contracting officer within Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate’s Aviation Engines and Airframe Division.
Here’s a story of a woman named Denise Dortch. She’s an integrated supply team chief within the same directorate as Jeremy, but works in the Electrical Components and Cables Division.
Jeremy and Denise married close to eight years ago and that’s how they became the Prince Bunch! Denise has been at DLA Aviation since July 2002. Jeremy started five years later in the intern program.
Once Jeremy finished that program, he was placed in a section where one of the supervisors was Randy Dortch, Denise’s brother and who would turn out to be his future brother-in-law. Mind you, Jeremy and Denise were dating at the time, but not seriously. No matter, Dortch said he had no problems with this.
“When I found out, I was good with it,” Dortch said.
Dortch started at DLA Aviation July 2001. He’s now the division chief within Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate’s Strategic Contracting Division. He believes working around family has its up sides.
“Being in close proximity to family and sharing common experiences at work has been a plus. Our shared common experiences serve to enhance our already strong bond,” he said.
Jeremy and Denise both agree with Dortch’s assessment as it pertains to working within the same organization and location.
“We still, to this day, bounce ideas off each other because this business is ever changing,” Jeremy said.
“Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to come over here and say hey I’m dealing with this, how would you handle it and vice versa,” Denise said.
Denise then echoed something Crystal Holmes mentioned earlier in the story about working in the same organization as her spouse when it comes to balancing a healthy work and home life.
“We are able to eat lunch without our kids. Adult interaction with my spouse is key,” she said.
Then there’s the Gunn/Hinant/Hinant branch on the DLA Aviation family tree. That would be Deloris Gunn, purchasing agent, Valerie Hinant, quality assurance specialist and Benjamin Hinant, product specialist, all within the Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate’s Electrical Components and Cables Division.
How are they related you might ask? Here goes. Gunn is Valerie’s mom. Benjamin is Valerie’s son. Therefore, Gunn is Benjamin’s grandmother. I’ll give you time to process that one.
Tick toc tick tock! Times up. Got it? You do? Great. Let’s move on.
Deloris and Valerie have both worked at DLA Aviation 17 years.
Time, Deloris said, she has enjoyed every minute of.
“You always want to see your children do better than you did,” she said.
Benjamin began working at Aviation at the beginning of 2018.
“I very proud of him. It’s not an easy job. He does really good work. He gets it,” Valerie said.
“I’ve gotten all kinds of compliments on both of them once everyone found out we were family,” Deloris said with a huge smile across her face.
Here’s something interesting. While this family trio works within the same directorate, mere cubicles apart, Benjamin told me they rarely get any family time at work, unless there is a special event.
“If we have a work function, we do get to spend some time together,” he said.
As I end this literary genealogy project, I’m reminded of the saying “Family is like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.”
The branches on the DLA Aviation family tree remain as one for a cause; providing timely support to the nation’s warfighters.