Courtesy photo

Benelux Family Legacy : Michèle Mahieu and Adeline Taquet

Story by Christophe Morel, USAG Benelux Public Affairs

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story concludes our series Benelux Family Legacy, which features multigenerational stories from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux and tenant unit partners. This series explores the people who comprise the garrison and delves into the legacy they have created in the Benelux.]

CHIEVRES AIR BASE, Belgium – “Did you bring the drawings that I did in your office a long time ago?” Adeline Taquet asked to her mother Michèle Mahieu.

“No I didn’t, but I still have those,” Michèle answered.

For three years, Michèle and Adeline have both worked at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, for U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

“I began to work for DPW [Directorate of Public Works] when I was 21, on January 18, 1982,” Michèle said. “It was the first time that I worked with so many men! I did a lot of things during my career for U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, and I had many different missions. For example, I worked on the contracts for the air shows. Now, I am a General Supply Specialist for DPW,” Adeline began working for the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux on June 12, 2019. “I am working at the lodge as a front desk clerk,” she said. “My mother sent me a few offers, but I didn’t want her to help me because I didn’t want any favors.”

“I didn’t want to have to get the job because I was the daughter of someone in the garrison,” she added.

Adeline finally obtained a job, and started working for an employer she already knew. “I remember how, as a child, I used to walk and watch people working. I also remember the gate, because it was very impressive. The lodge was not yet built. I discovered it during my first days at work,” Adeline said.

Michèle’s daughter really enjoys using her English skills at work.

“She was obsessed with English when she was a child,” Michèle said.

“It has always been an obsession,” Adeline added. “When I was young, we met Scottish people and I absolutely wanted to be able to talk with them,” Since they work in the same place, Michèle and Adeline now share even more things than before.

“She discovered my universe and my career,” Michèle said. “When she was talking about her work [before], it was not easy to understand. For example, she used a lot of acronyms. Now, we share our experiences and I understand what she does.” “Working here is like working in another world,” Adeline said.

Christmas 1983 with Jean-Pierre Hindricq, right, Deputy DPW, Michèle Mahieu, left, and her son Laurent, center. Courtesy Photo. 

Michèle and Adeline are not the only family members who worked for the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux. Michèle’s husband, Philippe Taquet, and son, Benjamin Taquet, used to work for the garrison as well.

And the story doesn’t end there. Adeline now shares her life with Ian Pratschler, a former colleague who now works at the community activity center on Chièvres Air Base.

“Ian was a colleague at the lodge,” Adeline said. “I met him here and we got married on February 9, 2022,” “We met Ian’s family. His mother worked here, and his grandfather worked at SHAPE,” Michèle added.

Michèle and her daughter are proud to be part of the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux family.

“I really like the level of the customer service-I love helping people.” Adeline said. “It’s like I am the link between the base and the outside world. I am where I was meant to be, and I know my place is here.”

This series, Benelux Family Legacy, explores the many stories and experiences from the people who make up U.S. Army Garrison Benelux and its tenant organizations.