DND Family Days: Giving back to military families

DND Family Days is back for its 25th edition, set for June 21-22.

DND Family Days: Giving back to military families

By Trident Staff

Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Halifax is all set for the 2024 edition of DND Family Days, an annual event that brings two days of fun, food and prizes to HMC Dockyard as a thank-you to our military families. As this tradition celebrates its 25th edition on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, some of our longtime attendees have reflected on the significance of the event over the years.

Krista Alford says her Navy family hasn’t missed a DND Family Days event in nearly 20 years. Her daughter Emily, pictured here at an earlier Family Days event, recently accepted a job with Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott.

For Krista Alford, whose husband serves in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Family Days became a cornerstone of her family’s annual calendar. And while the family prefers to attend together, she recalls the meaning behind the event hitting home when sailing schedules meant not everyone could make it.

“It’s probably one of the things we looked forward to the most when he was deployed. My daughter and I were at home while he was out sailing the world, and it helped us feel like we were appreciated too,” Alford said.

The Alfords haven’t missed a DND Family Days event in nearly 20 years, and Krista said the day is attached to plenty of great family memories.

“I remember Emily being three or four years old, with a big Navy bumper sticker across her shirt, going through the Army obstacle course and just having a great time. She never forgot that,” she said.

Missy Sonier, PSP Halifax’s Corporate Services manager and a key organizer behind Family Days, said stories from families like the Alfords have kept the organization focused on holding a great event each year, and helped inspire PSP to bring DND Family Days back to Halifax after a three-year COVID-19 hiatus.

“This has always been about giving back to our military families. That’s the reason we do this and the reason our staff, volunteers and generous sponsors are so committed to the event.”This year’s DND Family Days kicks off Friday, June 21 from 12 – 5 p.m., with the entrance gates at HMC Dockyard’s Rainbow Gate. The second day goes Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, shuttle schedule, and frequently asked questions: