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    NSA Hampton Roads’ Fleet and Family Support Center hosts first annual Father’s Day Symposium



    Story by Katisha Draughn-Fraguada 

    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads

    The Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads’ Fleet and Family Support Center showed their appreciation to area fathers by hosting the first annual Father’s Day Symposium on June 17.

    The event, which falls under the New Parent Support Program, featured guest speakers who discussed a variety of topics focused on fathers who are committed to raising healthier children.

    “We have many involved fathers who have participated in every session of our parenting curriculum. I noticed that the involvement of our military fathers since COVID-19 has changed,” said Keli Riddick, New Parent Support Home Visitor Program Educator. “Previously, the majority of parent participation was moms. As I recognized this trend, I had conversations with my counterparts and management to recognize the resilience and initiative of some of our fathers. We wanted to do something special to recognize and thank them, for their dedication and commitment.”

    The symposium, which featured brunch and a beautiful waterside view at NSA Hampton Roads-Portsmouth Annex, not only provided fathers important resources and valuable information, but also simply thanked them for everything that they do for their families.

    “Fathers are important and it is vital for young men to have a father figure in their lives,” said Michael Holmes, Certified Professional Life Coach at Life M8Z (Life Mates). “Children do not come with an [standard operating procedure] and sometimes you just don’t know what to do. But you just have to give it your best shot.”

    Holmes, a married father of three daughters, discussed what it takes to be a good father.

    “It’s important to be slow to lecture our children and really show them that we care about them,” he said.

    Michael Jones Sr., Father-Focused Community Health Worker, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Loving Steps-Virginia Healthy Start Initiative, also highlighted the important role that fathers play and discussed Fathering in the 21st Century.

    “I am very excited for the opportunity to serve my community by placing emphasis on the important and irreplaceable role that fathers play in their children’s lives,” he said. “Especially those who serve in the military because they defend and protect our freedoms.”

    Retired Navy Sailor, Gabriel Boyd was happy to attend the symposium.
    “I’m a father and I wanted to possibly learn some new things,” he said.

    Riddick, who spearheaded the planning and execution of the symposium, hoped that the fathers would be encouraged to continue to be an awesome support to their families.

    “I hope they will be inspired, and recognize that they are special, and needed for our future generations,” she said. “My last hope is that other fathers will see them and they will inspire them to be more actively involved with the parenting process.”

    The Father’s Day Symposium showcased that the need is there and the military community is interested and excited to start attending events again.

    “This type of event is vital because so often we recognize our mothers, however, I believe acknowledging the active fathers who show up is vital to the existence of the military family,” said Riddick. “They not only talk the talk, but they also walk the walk.”



    Date Taken: 06.28.2021
    Date Posted: 06.28.2021 14:49
    Story ID: 399905
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US

    Web Views: 55
    Downloads: 0