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Headquarters of the Department of Defense, the Pentagon is one of the world's largest office buildings. It is twice the size of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York. The National Capitol could fit into any one of the five wedge-shaped sections.

 

The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself. Approximately 23,000 employees, both military and civilian, contribute to the planning and execution of the defense of our country. These people arrive daily from Washington, D.C. and its suburbs over approximately 30 miles of access highways, including express bus lanes and one of the newest subway systems in our country. They ride past 200 acres of lawn to park approximately 8,770 cars in 16 parking lots; climb 131 stairways or ride 19 escalators to reach offices that occupy 3,705,793 square feet. While in the building, they tell time by 4,200 clocks, drink from 691 water fountains, utilize 284 rest rooms, consume 4,500 cups of coffee, 1,700 pints of milk and 6,800 soft drinks prepared or served by a restaurant staff of 230 persons and dispensed in 1 dining room, 2 cafeterias, 6 snack bars, and an outdoor snack bar. The restaurant service is a privately run civilian operation under contract to the Pentagon.

 

Over 200,000 telephone calls are made daily through phones connected by 100,000 miles of telephone cable. The Defense Post Office handles about 1,200,000 pieces of mail monthly. Various libraries support our personnel in research and completion of their work. The Army Library alone provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in various languages.

 

Despite 17.5 miles of corridors it takes only seven minutes to walk between any two points in the building.

 

The building is well remembered for Washington’s ground zero on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the famous site.

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Ms. Barber also shared information in new initiatives coming in 2006, which include a youth focus and travels by the Secretary of Defense. 

 

With the day packed full of networking opportunities and the excitement of meeting with our military leaders, we had to ask BHOC Director Leo Pacheco about his experience…

 

What was the greatest experience you had during this trip, and what was BHOC’s involvement in this summit?  I went without specific expectations, but found that the greatest experience of all was standing in these two historic buildings and knowing I was standing in the presence of history.  That was powerful!  Our involvement in the summit was strictly as an invited guest, and I was so honored and treated so well by Allison Barber, Camille Hart, and the numerous staff members of the DOD. 

 

What was your impression of the Secretary of Defense?  What you see on TV is not what you see when he is not having to constantly defend himself or being annoyed with the media.  The Secretary is very humble, real, down-to-earth, and actually very funny.  He has a great sense of humor, and I certainly have a much greater respect for him and for his position than I ever did before.  He is a very sharp man with credentials that would make the Queen of England look like a pauper.

 

What did you get out of this summit?  I was so extremely moved when I was standing at the 9/11 memorial in the Pentagon, and the exact spot where the 125 American heroes gave the lives on board the aircraft the terrorists used to attack the Pentagon, and that was certainly a moment where I realized more than ever that our support of the troops is really a support of the lives lost in not only the terrorist attacks, but also all who have given their lives for noble causes throughout history.  It was very profound.  But, I certainly think this summit was very inspirational, thought-provoking, and a great moment to personally connect with the DOD and the hundreds of other support organizations who share one same goal—to support our men and women in the armed forces.  BHOC will definitely have a lot of new input and support opportunities in 2006 and the coming years.  We must extend our Operation Hope military outreach program and continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the DOD and other organizations sending the message loud and clear that America supports our troops!

Jostens Armed Forces Rings