11th ADA’s ‘Walk to Remember’ takes off at parade field
By Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hoover, 11th ADA, 32nd AAMDC, Public Affairs:
(El Paso, Texas, April 20, 2017) The 11th “Imperial” Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted its “Walk to Remember” April 7 through 8 at the Lt. Col. William W. S. Bliss Parade Field here to kick off the first of many events for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
The walk was conducted over a 24-hour period starting at 10 a.m. on April 7 and completed at 10 a.m. April 8, with Soldiers from the different battalions walking continuously around the field.
“We are walking to honor all the victims past and present. Sexual assault affects the mission and we have to look out for one another,” said Sgt. 1st Class Elika Tuialuuluu of Monterey, California.
“It’s in remembrance of all the sexually assaulted and sexually harassed personnel who have been previously assaulted,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jose Hernandez of El Paso, Texas.
Hernandez said the need to keep hammering the SHARP program home is to keep Soldiers safe and knowledgeable of all the services available to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault in addition to getting Soldiers the proper care.
“Some Soldiers went without reporting it and there were actual residual effects that happened to them such as emotional issues. They didn’t receive the proper help so we are here to remember those who did not get the support they needed and those who did,” said Hernandez, the brigade schools noncommissioned officer in charge.
“Sexual harassment and sexual assault are still issues in the Army we are contending and battling. We are continuing to show it’s important to us as leaders/Soldiers to combat it and stamp it out from our ranks,” said Capt. Jason Leung-vanHassel, the assistant operations officer for 11th ADA.
“Until we do that, we need to make sure we are keeping people aware of the need for it (SHARP),” said Leung-vanHassel from Millville, New Jersey.
“This is truly the first time I’ve ever done anything like this as part of the Sexual Assault and Prevention Month event,” said Col. Shana Peck, commander of Imperial Brigade. “We had people walking late at night and really, it’s keeping in mind all those victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.”
Peck said the event also built on the camaraderie of the unit as she walked and talked with the Soldiers.
“We have great Soldiers who want to do the right thing. Nothing breaks my heart more than thinking about something bad happening to any one of our Soldiers, particularly from within our family,” Peck said.
“It’s about taking care of our brothers and sisters to our left and our right,” Peck said.
The event did more than just raise awareness for 11th ADA- it also helped raise awareness for those passing by who stopped to ask what the unit was doing.
“We want to not only spread the message through our own brigade but as well as all the vehicles, people and the different units who see us and ask us what we are doing and we let know what we are doing here,” said Tuialuuluu, the brigade Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
Tuialuuluu said, it’s important not to forget the victims of the past and prevent any more victims in the future.
“Keep supporting SHARP. If you see an incident or see something which may become an incident, report it or intervene,” said Hernandez.
The event concluded with Peck thanking everyone for their support making the event a tremendous success and Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Albright, command sergeant major of Imperial, for making pancakes for those in attendance.
Short URL: http://fortblissbugle.com/?p=41225