News | May 4, 2018

A day to remember: Children learn how DSCC works

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

More than 250 children shadowed their parents and grandparents at the Defense Supply Center Columbus during the installation’s annual Take Our Kids to Work Day event.

The April 26 program let members of the Defense Federal Community show their children firsthand what their jobs were like, while workshops and activities throughout the day provided educational opportunities for attendees.  

The day started with group photos for participants at the installation’s two largest tenant organizations, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime and Defense Finance and Accounting Service Columbus. Following welcome remarks by leaders of the two federal agencies, the children and their parents separated into smaller groups for a series of workshops that highlighted the jobs performed on the installation.

Each corner of one DFAS Columbus conference room contained an assortment of equipment and training aids used by installation emergency response teams. A fire extinguisher simulator let kids compete for the fastest time putting out digital flames while another station included a question and answer panel with DSCC firefighters.

Felisha Clinkscale, a purchasing agent for DLA Land and Maritime, smiled and snapped photos while her 16-year-old son LaDarrell slipped into a 50-pound fireproof suit and picked up a large axe. Despite the imposing size and weight of the gear, LaDarrell seemed unfazed.

“Yeah, it’s a little heavy,” he said. “But I like this. I think I could be a firefighter one day.”

Meanwhile, the sounds of grinding metal could be heard inside the military education workshop. The armed forces identification badge machine proved to be one of the most popular displays of the day, as groups of kids watched the large device noisily stamp out “dog tags” every few seconds. Uniformed active duty and reserve military members from each of the major service branches mingled in the crowd, posing for photos and answering questions.

After the workshops, crowds began to gather outside enjoying the warm spring day until their attention was drawn to a group of flashing lights slowly approaching. As the red and blue flashes grew in size, sounds of sirens gave way to a parade of vehicles including police cars, fire engines and utility line repair trucks. Even the adults stood and watched in awe, impressed at the convoy of DSCC support vehicles. 

“This year marked the largest attendance and participation in the program’s history,” said Rich Bechand, DLA Land and Maritime protocol officer and one of the event’s organizers. “We had 122 children attending with Land and Maritime associates and 144 with DFAS Columbus.”

Near the outdoor area designated as Mission Park, children and their parents or grandparents posed together in front of an array of military vehicles on permanent display at DSCC. The military hardware represents just a small portion of the more than 2 million spare and replacement parts provided by DLA Land and Maritime in support of global defense.

Other children shadowed their parents as they returned to work, including associates at DFAS Columbus, where much of the military’s accounting services get processed. When asked what they thought of their parent’s jobs, many of the children shared a common response. They didn’t completely understand what mom or dad or grandma or grandpa did each day at the office – But they knew it was important.

Maggie, 10, and Jack, 12, said their favorite part of the day was the parade of vehicles, especially the flashing lights and sirens. Their dad, Marine Lt. Col. Kirk Greiner said he was happy to finally show his kids where he works. Greiner, a division chief in DLA Land and Maritime’s Land Customer Operations directorate, has often spent months away from his family on various deployments. He said he was very appreciative to spend time during his duty day with his kids.

The proud smiles on Jack and Maggie’s faces signaled they felt the same.