FORT LEE, Va. (April 29, 2010) – Many Team Lee members came to work on April 22 with more than their briefcases, lunch boxes and can-do attitudes.
More than 140 parents and children began Fort Lee’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day celebration with a special visit to the U.S. Army Women’s Museum and the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum. The group’s itinerary also included a visit to the Tactical Support Equipment Department and the Home of the Ordnance Dining Facility, where they were served lunch.
The national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is more than a career day and goes beyond shadowing an adult, said Carolyn McKecuen, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation, president.
“The goal is to show more than what a parent or mentor does during the work day,” McKecuen said. The program is geared toward showing children the value of an education, helping them to discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and Family life.”
The Fort Lee Equal Employment Opportunity office has sponsored the TODSTW event and has actively engaged in helping to highlight career opportunities to children since 1995. The National Organization of Women organized the original concept of Take Our Daughters to Work. Over the years it evolved to include both male and female children, said Anna Thweatt, EEO director.
“Fort Lee has the opportunity to showcase many diverse occupations. Planning for the day involved exposing the parents and children to what the Army offers both in military and Civilian employment,” Thweatt said. “This was the perfect venue for children to see the best the Army has to offer.”
After a wrap up activity, the children spent the rest of the day at their parents’ place of duty to learn more about what they do when they are away for eight hours or more every day.
Fire Chief Brion Bear brought sons, Christopher, 15, and Daniel, 12, to the event. The boys have often visited the fire station where their father works, but this was their first visit to other areas of Fort Lee. Both boys said they enjoyed seeing the other side of Fort Lee, especially learning about the different jobs within the Quartermaster Corps.
Bear said being a firefighter is the best job in the world.
“There is no other job for me,” he said. “I hope everyone feels that way about their jobs.”
Christopher wants to work as a paleontologist and Daniel wants to follow in his father’s footsteps or design video games.
“Their mother and I just want them to find a job they love,” Bear said. “We all have issues and challenges in our jobs, but finding an occupation you love is rewarding.”
Defense Commissary Agency employee Barbara Wright and her 15-year-old daughter, Ariel, participated in the event. At DeCA headquarters, the sons and daughters listened to a brief talk by Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. DeCA, director and chief executive officer. He discussed the importance of working for their futures.
“He told us to set goals and work toward them,” Ariel said.
Ariel, whose father is a retired mortuary affairs noncommissioned officer, is a member of the Hopewell High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. She hopes to work within the mortuary affairs specialty when she earns a degree.
She learned a little about commissary contracting when she visited her mother’s office. Wright is a contracting manager at DeCA. She is responsible for securing contracts for a variety of services at the commissary stores.
Ariel said before joining her mom at work, she didn’t put much thought into how the items got to the stores.
Next time she’s in the commissary she’ll see her mother’s work.