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Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 4:06am

‘Flying Dragons’ bring their children to work for day

Fort Bliss

POSTED: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 9:24pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 9:27pm

Soldiers and families of 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division “Flying Dragons” were able to spend time with their sons and daughters during the unit’s inaugural Bring Your Child to Work Day, held April 24.

The unit coordinated the event so children could experience what their military parents do during the normal course of the day. Everything from camouflage face-painting, to an AH-64 Apache helicopter simulator experience, and a static display of wheeled vehicles was conducted during the event.

The day began inside the unit’s hangar with a welcome speech from Lt. Col. R.J. Garcia, the unit’s commander. Immediately following the speech, the children were taken inside the hangar to begin their day. 

During lunch, the children were given the option to eat Meals Ready to Eat or dine at the Combat Aviation Brigade Dinning Facility. After lunch, parents went to their respective work areas and demonstrated and explained their various jobs. At the close of the day each child was presented with a certificate of achievement from Garcia.

“(We liked) climbing up on the helicopters and seeing what everything was and getting to go up in the co-pilot (seat),” said Kevin and Anna Swatzel, the children of Staff Sgt. John G. Swatzel, assigned to the unit.

The idea for Bring Your Child to Work Day came about when a member of the Family Readiness Group steering committee brought it up at the organization’s most recent meeting, said Garcia.

“The fourth Thursday of April is national Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, but everyone on the steering committee thought it would be a good idea if we made it a Bring Your Child to Work Day,” said Garcia. “Many of our FRG … members had seen this done before at other units … and said it was always fun and informative for the children, so we jumped on the idea.” 

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