By Stephen Hickok
DCMA Public Affairs
Defense Contract Management Agency headquarters team members gathered here Nov. 7 for a Veterans Day ceremony honoring the sacrifice and service of the almost 5,400 veterans across the agency.
“The ceremony was designed to give those who have never served a better understanding of the personal sacrifices our armed forces volunteer for to ultimately protect our freedom,” said event coordinator Sylvia Robinson, Military Services branch chief for manpower, training and assignments.
DCMA deputy director, James Russell, opened the event with a short history of Veterans Day and talked about how important veterans are to the agency.
“On November 11, 1918, World War I ended,” he said. “The nation thought it had fought the war to end all wars. On the same day in 1938, America began celebrating Armistice Day to honor those who had returned from the war. Soon after, Americans would once again answer a global call to arms as the axis powers threatened freedom itself. After World War II, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day as a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”
“In this room and around your workspace are folks who have fought to defend our constitution and protect our freedom in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam and Korea to name a few,” he continued. “Each of us has a story. I imagine you would be hard pressed to find someone in this building who hasn’t been impacted by the service of a veteran, whether that story is their own or from a loved one. Today is the day to tell that story, and for us to thank you for your service and a job well done.”
The ceremony included the reading of short stories of service and also a slide show of basic training and service photos supplied by headquarters veterans.
One of the short stories featured Air Force veteran Desiree Murray, a DCMA Financial and Business Operations financial certification program manager.
Murray’s military service gave her a sound foundation to support our troops. Now as a civilian, she is proud to continue her service. “My military time was limited but my service is never ending,” she said.
Robinson summarized the purpose of the ceremony with two words, “Give thanks.”
“If you meet a veteran, let them know how much you appreciate what they’ve done for the country,” she said. “Let them know that the sacrifices they made were not in vain. Let them know that their well-being and safety are always part of your prayers. And don’t forget to tell them that you are grateful for their courage in defending our country and protecting our freedom.”
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