8th MPs celebrate Women's History Month with 5K run; raise awareness of domestic violence
April 8, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - "Throughout our Nation's history, American women have led movements for social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched our culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy. They have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan. During Women's History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today," - a passage from President Barack Obama's March proclamation of Women's History Month, 2014.
The 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, partnered with Team EO/EEO to host the Women's History Month 5K Run, here, March 27, and raised awareness and monies for a good cause, too.
Runners participating in the 5K were encouraged to bring in recyclable cans and bottles for collection, with the proceeds going to the Domestic Violence Action Center - Hawaii.
Lt. Col. Theresa Farrell, provost marshal, U.S. Army Garrison - Hawaii, and commander, 728th Military Police Battalion, was the keynote speaker for the inaugural event.
"When Master Sgt. Kenner [David Kenner, equal opportunity advisor, 8th MP Bde.] asked me to speak I was exceptionally excited by the fact that he wanted to donate the funds to a domestic violence shelter," said Farrell.
Farrell explained her sister runs a shelter in Texas and is constantly in search of funding and ways to raise money for the shelter.
She then said, "domestic violence for women is the largest cause of injuries to women; more so than car accidents, more so than rape, more than any other type of personal injuries. It is not just a woman's issue; it's a family issue, it is a community issue, it's a law enforcement issue, and it's a political issue."
Farrell continued, "Women's History Month is important because it acknowledges the contributions of women to society. But this run in particular is important to me because it acknowledges a need of a community to have an awareness of domestic violence."
Warrant Officer Teneka Reyes, property book technician, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 8th MP Bde., ran in the 5K.
"I thought it was a really good way to celebrate Women's History Month, by doing a 5K run. It was neat to do something different. I have never seen an actual run to celebrate Women's History Month; I think events like these give women in the military a boost of motivation in being recognized for our contributions."
Reyes concluded, "I thought Colonel Farrell gave an outstanding speech, especially the part when she spoke about domestic violence. I wasn't aware that domestic violence was the leading cause for injuries to women; her speech was very informative."
Shortly after 6:30 a.m. hundreds of runners moved to the start line to begin the 5K, amongst them was 1st Lt. Cara Lawn, executive officer, 552nd Military Police Company, 728th MP Bn.
Lawn crossed the finish line 22 minutes and one second later with the fastest female run time in the 5K.
She then spoke about her experience.
"Initially I was just doing this for fun, I was racing to show my support for our battalion. But as I was running; so many Soldiers were supporting me. Some I didn't even know, they were yelling out things like 'go get um ma'am', and giving me updates on my run time. That's when I thought, I am going to go win this race," said Lawn. "The support that I received during the run was important, and really motivating."
The overall winner of the 'Watchdogs' inaugural Women's History Month 5K Run was 1st Lt. Christopher Foster, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, finishing with a time of 18 minutes and 44 seconds.
"The turn out was really great and the competition was a lot more fierce than I thought it would be. There were a lot of great runners out there today. Winning this race, the inaugural Women's History Month 5K run, is a great honor," said Foster.