I am Mission Success: DeRema Dalton
Take five minutes and learn about CNS's DeRema Dalton, special tooling planner scheduler at Pantex. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.
Patriotism and the passion to fulfill the mission tasked to Pantex run in DeRema Dalton’s blood — as it has for generations of family before her.
She has worked at the plant for 28 years, the third generation of a family that has sacrificed to support this important mission since Pantex was formed.
“As the country was experiencing the Great Depression and my grandparents’ farm was failing due to drought conditions, my grandpa — Roy Hyatt — moved himself from Wellington, Texas, to Amarillo,” Dalton said. “He came to work at Pantex in 1942.”
His son — Dalton’s father, Charles — joined in 1969 as an assembly operator (now known as a production technician).
“I’m very proud of the services and sacrifices they put into their work at Pantex,” Dalton said. “Grandpa helped build this place, and my dad assembled weapons. What an honor, knowing the wars we were going through during those eras and how my grandpa and dad helped protect this country.”
Dalton’s late husband, Wendel, began working at the plant in 1972. He served most of his career as a firefighter, sacrificing many Christmas Days to ensure the plant’s safety, but also becoming a first-rate cook. (“Those guys in the fire department can cook!” she says.)
Dalton began working in 1994 as a subcontractor clerk and served in several departments before finding a home in the planning department in 2001. She works to ensure that her assigned programs run smoothly, which requires intense coordination with her team.
“My daddy walked these same hallways,” Dalton said. “It makes me feel really proud. We’ve all made our sacrifices for working out here, and I’m not far behind them. It happens, and that’s what we do. We make sure our country is safe and our freedoms are still here.
“I’m very serious when I talk about my patriotism and how proud I am of my family working out here,” she said. “It means everything to me.”
How does patriotism factor into your life?
My uncle served in World War II and my cousin in Vietnam. My patriotism runs deep, and I am very proud of the service they gave our country.
I am very proud of what we (as Pantexans) are doing to make our country safe.
I have buried family and friends—I miss them with all my heart—but one thing I know: What they did in their lifetime meant something. As my kids always said, “they protected us from the bad guys.”
So, here’s a piece of advice: Hug your loved ones (including coworkers) every day and often. What we do at Pantex means something and needs to be recognized as heroic.
What is your favorite aspect about your work environment?
How does that aspect make you know the mission is being met? In the beginning of my career, just the overall feeling of pride was everywhere. You just knew that you were a part of protecting our country and our future.
As an employee, what do you want to be remembered for?
I want people to remember me as hardworking, fun, loving to be around, honest, and truthful.
What work advice would you offer someone who is new?
Listen to the old-timers. We know what we’re talking about.
Never try to sugarcoat the truth. Be straight up. Truth sometimes hurts, but your reputation grows from that, and people know who they can trust.
What’s your top bucket list item and why?
To travel to Israel. I want to walk the streets where Jesus walked and feel that presence in my soul.