News | April 29, 2016

Children of Headquarters employees get to see Mom, Dad in the 'real world'

By Chris Erbe

Children of McNamara Headquarters Complex employees took a break from school to “shadow” their parents during “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” April 28. HQC Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored the event.

Approximately 90 young people accompanied a parent to their “real-world” workplace to see what it is they do all day.

Mark Simon, from the Defense Contract Audit Agency, brought his two kids, ages 9 and 13. “I wanted them to get an appreciation for the environment that we work in — how you dress, how you hold yourself, how you talk with other people in a business setting,” he said. “It’s great for them to get out of school for a while and see how adults operate in the big world.”

MWR scheduled several activities for the young guests throughout the day. Defense Logistics Agency historian Christine Reilly delivered a presentation on the history of DLA, which included a hands-on demonstration of military Meals, Ready-to-Eat. Simon then guided the group on a tour of the HQC, discussing the architecture, artwork and other features of the building.

“I wanted my son to see where I work and give him some history of the building, which I didn’t know even though I’ve worked here for three years,” said Shacasia King of the Defense Technical Information Center.

Arlene Goyette, also of DTIC, said that she wanted to participate because she wanted her 7-year-old daughter to see what Mom did for work. “I want her to meet the people I work with and see what it’s like to have a nine-to-five job,” Goyette said. “And I want for her to see what we do for service members here.”

The group tour concluded at the HQC Fitness Center, where trainer Olga Cardoso led the kids in a spirited and very high-energy workout involving running, jumping, dancing and stretching. The group cooled off in the cafeteria area where they took in Earth Day displays, a speaker and a sapling giveaway.

After lunch with parents in the cafeteria, which featured a special menu for younger tastes, the group assembled in the McNamara Auditorium where DLA Police Sgt. Donovan Brown addressed them on the important subject of bullying. The best part came at the end of the presentation when Police Maj. Gary Giseke came out in a special red, padded suit used by law enforcement for self-defense training, and invited volunteers to “attack” him. Giseke was no match for the kids.

Later in the afternoon, DLA Human Resources offered a seminar to the high school-age guests on the DLA Intern Program, while others played “Jeopardy!” in the auditorium. Still others stayed close to their parent in various offices around the complex.

David Smith of DLA Energy,brought his 15-year-old son. “He knows I’ve worked for the government for many years and I wanted to give him a better perspective of what DLA is and what we do,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity for him to see civilians working in unison with the military.”

Marcos Contreras, who works for the DLA Office of the Inspector General, said, “I wanted to give my son exposure to what I do and how we support the warfighter.”

The kids may have missed school, but it was an educational day with a bit of fun thrown in. Each of the children received a certificate thanking them for their participation.