News | April 3, 2018

Fabric worker, EEO specialist honored for years of federal service

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

Two Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees were recognized for their service during a retirement ceremony March 29.

Dewey Smith, an equal employment specialist, and Nereida Rivera, a hand embroidery fabric worker, retired with 43 years of combined federal service.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, presided over the ceremony and said that there was something inextricably twined between the flag room and equal employment office, where the two retirees worked.

“Every flag has to be perfect. The fabric has to be perfect. The same thing is true for EEO,” Simerly said. “The fabric of our workforce has to be flawless in the way we treat each other with inclusion, diversity and fairness.”

Smith first entered federal service working as an apprentice at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1986. He joined DLA Troop Support’s Equal Employment Office in 2008.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work for DLA and to help support America’s warfighters,” Smith said.

Smith plans to move to Florida and said he’s looking forward to fishing and playing billiards.

Rivera was hired to work in the hand embroidery room and later volunteered to learn how to operate the machines that assist in flag making.

She said that her greatest accomplishment while working here was being able to work on the flags for the president and the vice president of the United States, both of which are hand embroidered.

“I feel so proud that every time I look at the president and I can see the flag behind him, that I was one of the people that worked on it,” Rivera said.

Rivera plans to spend more time with her family during her retirement.