COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Defense Supply Center Columbus hosted more than 100 children of federal defense workers April 27 during its annual “Take our daughters and sons to work day” event.
Daughters and sons of DLA Land and Maritime and Defense Finance and Accounting Service associates spent the morning learning about the contributions their parents and guardians make to warfighter support. The theme of this year’s nationally recognized event was “Count on Me,” and activities promoted teamwork with friends, family, mentors and teachers through cooperation and dependability.
The day started with concurrent introduction programs inside the Land and Maritime and DFAS Columbus Operations Centers, where attendees learned about the history of each organization and the vital role they play in supporting service members around the world.
“If it rolls on the ground, flies in the air or floats in the water – we supply the parts for it,” Don Schulze, deputy chief of staff at DLA Land and Maritime told the audience at DLA Land and Maritime’s introduction event.
“Your mom or dad may be the person responsible for supplying those parts. Take a look at your mom or dad and thank them for being a hero. Thank them for doing a job that helps Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines do their jobs to protect us.”
The crowd enthusiastically replied in unison with shouts of thanks to their parents.
The group also watched a video that explained the purpose of DLA and described its mission in understandable concepts and language.
This was the second year Aubri Myers, 12, attended the event and she said each year she learns new information. “My mom supplies things to the troops,” she said about her mother Heather, a resolution specialist at DLA Land and Maritime. “My favorite activity was seeing the military trucks. I also liked making my own dog tags.”
Aubri personalized her metal identification tags with the phrase “Go Navy, Beat Army” – a sentiment supported by her mother, a former Navy linguist.
More than just a career day, the schedule was full of hands-on activities. A USO care package station allowed children aged 9-13 to create gift bags for homeless veterans. Tables representing the Armed Services and staffed by members of each branch highlighted the various jobs each component performs.
In a separate room, children aged 14-17 took fitness challenges, solved math puzzles and tried on military uniforms and equipment.
Matthew Rush, 16, completed enough pushups and situps to pass the fitness challenge. He said he can imagine joining the military like his stepdad Christopher Smith, a Navy veteran and contracting supervisor at DFAS Columbus.
Soldiers from the nearby Army 412th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) brought several of their tactical vehicles to the event. They answered questions about their parachute equipment and let volunteers try on different pieces of gear and climb inside the vehicles.
From inside the turret of a tan High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Dallas Clay, 10, showed off his new dog tags while his father, David Clay took photos. David, a resolution specialist at DLA, pointed out that many of the parts inside the vehicle were supplied by DLA.
“It’s great to show our kids the connection we have with the military,” said Heather Myers.
“It lets them see how important Columbus is, and they can see the important work that we do here at DSCC.”