Children follow in parents' footsteps on National Job Shadow Day

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
After rushing through weekday morning routines, children and parents head off different in directions to begin their days, each wondering what the others' day will entail.

Mackenzie Odom, a Spangdahlem Elementary School fourth grader, had the opportunity to see first hand what her father, Tech. Sgt. Donald Odom, 52nd Operations Support Squadron, does during his duty days, as part of National Job Shadow Day Feb. 2.

After waking up at 5 a.m., Mackenzie and her father left the house, making a quick breakfast stop at the drive-thru before arriving at the office. Once there Sergeant Odom began explaining to his daughter various aspects of his job as a weather forecaster and why what he does is important.

She had a chance to see how he produces a mission execution forecast using the Europe-NATO Automated Meteorological Information System and tactical weather observer equipment.

Although this was not the first time Mackenzie has visited her father's office, it was the first time she spent her visit observing what her father does while he is there.

The times she has been up here before were not this busy, he said. "Today she was involved in what I was doing. She is a good listener."

After spending the day at work with her father, Mackenzie now has a better idea of what his job involves.

"It was exciting, to learn something new, but not at school," she said. "I learned about clouds and saw the airplanes take off. Everything was cool, everything was the best."

Mackenzie was not the only one who enjoyed her day.

"Any time she can spend with dad is a good time," Sergeant Odom said. "The more she knows about my job the better. I want her to understand what I work with on a daily basis and who I interact with. She then can relate that to what she sees outside.

"When the weather is bad more people want to know how long it's going to last and when it will get better," he said. " And while I'm deployed she'll know that I'm staying busy and that I provide a very important service to not only the Air Force, but everyone else on the base and the immediate area."

Spending time at his office with his daughter brought back memories for Sergeant Odom. As a child he would occasionally spend time observing his father on the job who happened to work in the same building one floor below as an air traffic controller from 1977 to 1980.

"I watched the Thundebirds perform from the same roof that I take observations from," Sergeant Odom said. The same roof top where he has shared lunches with Mackenzie.