Fort Belvoir, Virginia, June 26, 2018 —
The theme for the 2018 McNamara Headquarters Family Day, “Sun and Shine; it’s Summer Time!” held true June 21 for the annual event that gives HQC employees a chance to enjoy connection with each other, their guests and family members.
Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams provided remarks on behalf of leaders from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Technical Information Center.
Williams recognized the children in attendance and encouraged the audience’s applause for them. He then congratulated those who participated in the run/walk and said HQC Family Day is for everybody, not just DLA. The director urged his staff and wife, Myra to kick off the entertainment by dancing “The Electric Slide,” and welcomed others to join in.
The general thanked all volunteers who planned and supported the event, which boasted about 6,000 participants and also marked 20 years of Family Day events. Volunteers from all HQC organizations handed out schedules and maps, answered questions and pointed visitors toward food vendors and entertainment venues.
Williams closed his remarks with a call to safety as well as enjoyment, and he reminded participants that DLA and HQC tenant organizations’ employees work diligently to support those who are deployed in harm’s way.
DLA secured the McNamara sports and fitness cup, and winners in the run/walk event were announced:
- First place male finisher: Jay Cole (family member of a DLA employee)
- First place female finisher: Claudia Martinez (DLA)
- First place male finisher: Rick French (DLA)
- First place female finisher: Deborah Reeves (DLA)
This year’s event served as the inaugural Family Day event for Kristin French as DLA’s chief of staff, though she previously worked for DLA in the late 2000s.
“I guess you could say this is my second Family Day, but the first sure wasn’t this large or extravagant,” she said. “It’s a wonderful event and I think [the planners] did a great job balancing indoor and outdoor activity, so if the weather didn’t support today we’d still have a lot for families and little ones to keep them busy.”
Karaoke, contests, crafts and caricatures were among the many family-friendly activities available, along with games, giveaways, rides and fitness and educational demonstrations.
Army Capt. Andrew Gonzales, a procurement analyst for DLA’s Acquisition brought his two young sons to the event. Gonzales is a member of the Joint Reserve Force, and it was his first Family Day as well.
“It’s been pretty impressive. I liked it and my kids really enjoyed it, too,” he said. His sons, Josiah, age 6, and Isaiah, 3, enjoyed the racecars and pony rides, respectively. “They’re probably going to think this is like every workday for me!”
Gonzales said events like Family Day help increase employee morale and further add to DLA’s familial environment.
“They’re reaching out to my family to make it enjoyable for my kids and [in turn], they don’t mind me coming here to work,” he said.