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DCMA Public Affairs
Tony Acerra, a Defense Contract Management Agency quality assurance specialist, who died when his convoy was attacked near Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 29, 2011, was honored at the agency’s headquarters here Wednesday.
During a dedication ceremony, DCMA’s primary conference room was renamed the Acerra Conference Room. When it is used to conduct agency business, a plaque will remind guests of his sacrifice:
Anthony “Tony” Acerra
This conference room is dedicated in honor of a great agency employee, friend, husband and father who lost his life to hostile fire while supporting our nation and warfighters in Afghanistan.
We remember you, thank you and honor you.
Operation Enduring Freedom
Army Lt. Gen. David Bassett, DCMA director, joined senior leaders and agency team members in welcoming Acerra’s wife, Linda, daughter, Sherry, and son, Nick, who is a DCMA quality assurance specialist in Pennsylvania, to the event.
“To Linda and Sherry and Nick, thanks for coming here today. It means everything to our agency to spend this time with you,” said Bassett. “I was honored to get to meet you last June when we dedicated the (central issue facility) out at Camp Atterbury in Tony’s honor. Every civilian employee who deploys from that location will be able to look to that dedication and remember Tony’s service, and dedicating this conference room today gives us the opportunity when we bring the leaders of this agency together to remember Tony’s service and his sacrifice.”
Acerra, a Navy veteran, had been with DCMA for 16 years and was on his fifth agency deployment when he was killed.
“When I see the family here that supported Tony, it reminds me that for a lot of families across DCMA their continued service to our nation, both in uniform and out, is a family affair with contributions to our nation’s defense,” said Bassett. “The connection there between the families and our employees and the warfighters they serve is strong. It’s not hard to motivate our employees to get up every morning to go face challenging tasks to make a difference for our warfighters.”
Diann Hawks, DCMA’s Combat Support Center Force Management Team chief, opened the event discussing Acerra’s service and the contributions he made to enhance the daily lives of forward-deployed warfighters.
“The quality of life provided to the deployed warfighter was better because we made sure it was better. Tony made sure it was better, and he was fervent about that,” said Hawks, who identified young warfighters as positive beneficiaries of QOL enhancements. “That young sergeant has to keep the Soldiers going, keep reminding them to keep the mission moving forward even when it’s hard. We’re there for them. Tony was there for them. The great picture of him on deployment standing in front of the mountains, he thrived in this. Supporting those young men and women, he lived for that. Tony was enthusiastic about deploying. He did things his own way, and he spoke up when he thought he needed to. He held those contractors accountable. He was passionate about that.”
Bassett too spoke of Acerra’s commitment to the agency’s warfighter-support role and the valuable purpose DCMA team members serve in the greater Defense Department mission.
“It’s families like the Acerra family that are the strength of our employees supporting them so they can do challenging things,” said Bassett. “Over the course of the last two years that I’ve had the privilege of being the DCMA director, I think I have learned that our employees are the strength of this agency. We’re relying on those employees to support our warfighters — side-by-side, sharing the risks, sharing the hardships, facing adversity, and we’re asking for the same kind of sacrifices from our civilian employees as they support our force. Tony’s name on this conference room will be an enduring reminder to our employees of why we serve. I am grateful to dedicate this conference room to Tony’s service.”
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