GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. --
The 434th Air Refueling Wing held its first .5K in recognition of Sexual Assault Response and Prevention month at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana, April 10, 2021.
During the event, Airmen were able to compete in a .5K run/walk as well as visit booths from the SAPR office and the United Service Organizations.
“The intent of the .5K, is just a fun way for folks all over base to just get together and show support for sexual assault awareness and prevention and rally as a community for a cause that’s super important within the military,” said Maj. Joel Shepherd, 434th SAPR Victim Advocate “It’s one of those things that we don’t want to be a problem, but the statistics say that it exists, and it is not necessarily while someone is in the military.
“Our whole program exists to support individuals who have experienced sexual assault and get them all of the resources they need to re-empower themselves, get control back and then get back in the fight,” he continued.
Bad weather threatened the event, but Grissom showed its resiliency by showing up for the event despite the conditions, to show support.
“We had 80 people preregister, which is really fun,” said Shepherd. “When we were looking at the weather we were like ‘nobody is going to show up’ and it’s been packed. I would say we had about a hundred people participate. I think it shows the fact that people support the cause.”
The SAPR office as well as the USO had booths set up with information about programs both organizations offered. There was photo booth where participants could take selfies and spread awareness via social media. Food was also available for everyone and for those who participated, there was a drawing for prizes.
“The whole point was to have that 5K atmosphere without the running, because nobody likes that part,” joked Shepherd. “The Grissom community came behind this cause and this purpose because, I think everyone recognizes the potential exists and the issue exists, but regardless of how small a percentage is, it’s too big.”
He added, “It is neat to see the community building and cross networking and all the showing of support and the fact that we don’t stand for this as a community, as a Grissom community.”
The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.
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