Thursday, June 30, 2016

Friday - a very special day!

Hans took a day of leave so that he could spend the day with me and William. On the schedule was a tour of the Pentagon and sights around Washington, D. C. We took their car into the city since there were the three of us – the requirement to drive in the HOV lane.

Prior to going into the Pentagon, we walked to the 9/11 Memorial. On that awful day, September 11, 2001, 184 people perished when flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. There is a bench for each victim with their name engraved on the edge of it. It was very moving being in this hallowed space.

(This is not my photo.)

After looking around the memorial, we made our way around two sides of the Pentagon where I had to go through a security check to get a visitor's badge. Hans and William entered a different door and waited for me in another room.

Once inside the building, Hans began showing me the stores and shops that are on the first floor. There were gift shops, barber shops, dry cleaners, tailors, shoe shine shops, jewelers, shops for each branch of the military, and so on. I bought a hooded sweatshirt in the Pentagon gift shop.

Next we walked out into the center courtyard (that's not what they call it). There was an Expo of sorts going on out there. Here I am standing next to a robot that the Navy will be using at some point.

After looking around the Expo, we re-entered the building and went to the floor where all of the top brass in the five branches of the military have their offices. It looks like this:

(This is not my photo. No cameras were allowed.)

All of the other hallways are very, very plain—white walls, no photos.

When we were close to Hans' office, he took us into a small room that had a bank of mailboxes. Each box had a key. Hans asked me to give him my I Phone. He placed his and mine in the box and locked it. That was the first step in security to enter his offices. We crossed the hallway and entered his place of work. Once inside, he introduced me to his Administrative Assistant - a very nice woman. Then we walked down a hallway to meet some of his staff. Again—very nice people. Finally we went to his office. He is in a nice space, has a big print of the U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur over the desk. He told me he has to insert his ID badge into a device before he can log into his computer. Once into the initial program, he has to insert his badge into the device a second time, to give him clearance. Talk about security!! While we were talking, his Captain came to his door to meet me and William. He was really great! He spent quite a bit of time talking to us and told me I should be very proud of Hans and all of his accomplishments. He went on to say Hans has a rich military history.

There are at least two food courts in the large structure. We ate lunch in one of them.There are 25,000 people working inside the Pentagon. The five sided building is made up of five rings: A, B, C, D, and E, the outer ring being E. The building is five stories high. If one walked around all rings of all floors, they would have walked seventeen miles.

I loved my tour with Hans and William. It was really special!

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