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Jackie Anders, guest speaker for the proclamation signing, along with children place flowers on wreaths in honor of the victims of child abuse April 6 at the CDC.

Key leaders and children at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall came together April 6 to recognize the importance of keeping kids safe throughout military installations world-wide.

Col. Carl R. Coffman, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall commander, signed a Child Abuse Proclamation Wednesday at the Cody Child Development Center to say ''no" to child neglect and abuse and to celebrate military children.

April is declared Child Safety Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child.

Jackie Anders, the guest speaker, a military spouse and mother, along with CDC and ACS employees joined Coffman during the signing.

Children from Child Youth and School Services School Age Services, some in blue shirts they made last week for Child Abuse Prevention Month, stood in two rows outside the CDC to listen to Coffman, Anders and Arleta Briner, CYS coordinator speak about the importance and significance of child abuse prevention and children in the military.

''As caretakers here at the CDC, it is our job to protect the children in our care," Briner said, addressing a group of servicemembers, Families and civilians standing outside the CDC.

''This month of April is designated to celebrate our military children and raise awareness about child abuse," Briner said.

The commander also spoke about how important it is to protect kids who are a part of the JBM-HH community. ''Children are our greatest investment," Coffman said.

He highlighted the meaning in acknowledging the military child and the month.

Anders followed Coffman at the podium.

''Today is a day for reminding all of you of how wonderful you are and how much you are loved," Anders told the children.

She related an anecdote to the audience, of two mischievous brothers, a chaplain and a missing God. The story shows the innocent nature of a child, she said.

''Let's promise to slow down a little and protect that innocence," Anders said. Coffman, Anders and children, some with their parents, placed flowers on three wreaths that will be displayed in JBM-HH Headquarters Bldg. 59, the CDC and the Memorial Chapel.

''As you see the wreaths around the installation it is a reminder that our children do something everyday worthy of celebration. Allowing our children to take part in making the wreaths and the T-shirts and having them displayed throughout the installation, give the children a sense of pride and accomplishment. It is essential that everyone in the military and civilian communities work together to protect and support our children," Verdino said.

''ACS hosted this event in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Month of the Military Child. We want to spread the message that we believe that every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, nurtured and live free of abuse and neglect," Verdino said. ACS Family Advocacy also set-up a table by the podium to inform servicemembers and Families about child abuse.

''Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Month of the Military Child serve as reminders for all of us as parents, teachers and child care providers that these children are the most important part of our busy lives," Anders said.

''By recognizing the issues and pledging to protect children, we declare that our children are the number one priority."

Page last updated Mon April 18th, 2011 at 16:00