130th Eng. Bde. runs for abuse awareness

| October 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Capt. Stephenson Robinson
130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers with the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, helped kick off National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, with a brigade run followed by domestic abuse awareness training presented by Army Community Service, here, Oct. 1.  

As the formations lined up, three exhibits standing on the field helped Soldiers realize that this wasn’t a typical brigade run.

One exhibit on the physical training field consisted of “The Empty Place at the Table,” a display born out of a desire to grieve the loss and celebrate the lives of men, women and children who were killed in acts of domestic violence.  

The “Silent Witness” display consisted of 26 freestanding, life-sized, red, wooden figures, each bearing the victim’s name and description of the incident. A 27th figure represented the uncounted victims whose murders went unsolved or were erroneously ruled accidental.  

Finally, the “Clothesline Project” display consisted of T-shirts hanging on a clothesline to help raise awareness about those who are victims of domestic violence.

“I’m always honored (to be a) part of the domestic abuse demonstration,” said Damarys Ramirez, lead victim advocate, ACS. “Displaying the three events on the field was very instrumental in capturing the Soldiers’ attention, and served as highly effective visuals.” 

Ramirez helped coordinate the event, which also was the first time that Col. Jeffrey Milhorn, commander, 130th Eng. Bde., ran with the entire brigade staff and Soldiers.  

“I always enjoy getting out of the office and joining Soldiers during morning (physical training) sessions,” Milhorn said.  “However, this run was special, because it seized the opportunity to provide the Soldiers (with) effective awareness-training on subjects such as domestic abuse. 

“Furthermore, when the Soldiers read the victims’ stories, which were attached to some of the exhibits, this helped them to identify with the horrific stories from actual victims of domestic abuse,” he said. 

“The ACS presentation awarded the Soldiers of 130th Eng. Bde. an opportunity to form as an entire unit, with one goal of building esprit de corps along with strong unit cohesion,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward, 130th Eng. Bde. “Also, the intent of having the ACS team on the PT field was to promote unit readiness and to combat domestic violence amongst our own ranks.”

Milhorn and Ramirez both concluded that having the domestic abuse demonstrations on the field educated the Soldiers about free, confidential counseling services available through ACS on any problems or concerns.  

“Domestic violence is a real issue on the island … these events this morning serve as good reminders for us all,” said Lt. Col. James Horton, deputy brigade commander, 130th Eng. Bde. “The ACS team did an outstanding job displaying silhouettes of the actual victims, providing an impact for the Soldiers to visualize.”   


For more information on The Empty Place at the Table, Silent Witness and Clothesline Project displays, visit www.nrcdv.org, www.silentwitness.net, and www.clotheslineproject.org.


Category: Community

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