Sgt. Duane Kessler, 7th JMTC's Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, entertains his son Christopher, 8, while waiting for the evening's events to begin.

VILSECK, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr's Army Community Service sponsored a free pancake dinner to raise awareness for domestic violence month at Rose Barracks Chapel, here, Oct. 28.

While the announcement read "Father and Son Pancake Dinner," more than 70 community members attended, including mothers.

"The issue is significant enough that women want to educate their sons, as well," said Cristina M. Piosa, ACS marketing specialist.

The dinner provided fathers (and mothers) an opportunity to discuss domestic violence and mentor their sons by teaching self-respect and respect for others, according to Janet Hinson, installation victim advocate for ACS.

The evening included a compelling speech by guest speaker Daryl Magee, ACS home care consultant, where he shared his personal experience with domestic violence.

One night when Magee was watching a newscast, his heart sank when he saw the body of a lifeless girl, a name he recognized. Minutes later he realized the life of this girl was taken by the hands of his own father -- a jealous man with a tendency toward domestic violence.

Embarrassed and hurt by his father's actions, Magee was determined to reach out and help others.

"Men, it is our job to teach our sons that it is unacceptable to lay their hands on their loved ones," said Magee to the crowd.

Among those listening was Sgt. Duane Kessler, 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, who attended the event with his 8-year-old son, Christopher.

"Being in the Army and going from post to post, you hear a lot about issues like this, especially working in legal," said Kessler.

Although this was the first time ACS held a free pancake dinner, after seeing the community's interest it most likely won't be the last.

"He has already asked when the next one is," said Kessler, referring to his son.

As the event continued, Tammy Ricketts, Family Advocacy Program manager, urged the community to intervene and aid the community to mitigate this serious issue.

''If you hear your neighbors, call the MPs," said Ricketts. "(Domestic violence) happens and it is an issue in our community."

Ricketts also encouraged the community to take advantage of ACS' numerous, free resources.

Additionally, a 24-hour domestic violence hot line is available at DSN 476-3218, CIV 09662-83-3218.

Page last updated Thu November 10th, 2011 at 04:50