By Spc. Gregory T. Summers, 1st Signal Brigade Public Affairs OfficeApril 14, 2014
USAG Yongsan, South Korea -- As part of the Army's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the 1st Signal Brigade hosted a Walk a Mile in My Shoes event at the Seoul American High School on USAG Yongsan April 10.
Much like the popular "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" events, 1st Signal Brigade Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) team members created the event to raise awareness because both men and women in the armed forces are affected by sexual assault.
Soldiers from 1st Signal Brigade and 19th Personnel Company, family members and civilians gathered at the high school to show their support for sexual assault awareness and this month's theme: Speak up. A voice unheard is an Army defeated.
Master Sgt. Erica D. Williams, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for 1st Signal Brigade said, "It's walk a mile in "my" shoes, because both men and women are being sexually assaulted in the military. We wanted to make the effort to say "walk a mile in my shoes" so everyone understands that anyone can be sexually assaulted and we are here to help them speak out and eliminate sexual assault from our ranks."
Col. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, 1st Signal Brigade Commander, was the guest speaker and said, "Sexual assault is a despicable crime, and anyone who sexually assaults a man, woman or child has no place in our Army Family."
"We serve in the Army to defend our country against its enemies around the world," added Fredenburgh, "but we also need to defend our brothers and sisters in arms, as well as our own families from sexual assault."
The group formed up, marched out on their 1-mile walk to support those everywhere that have been affected by sexual assault and to remind everyone that they can speak up and help stop the crime.
Command Sgt. Maj. Darris Curry, 1st Signal Brigade Command Sergeant Major and Fredenburgh led a group that stretched as long as a football field on a walk around Yongsan Army Base.
Williams said, "I am very surprised and grateful for all of those that came out to support the walk, especially those from outside 1st Signal Brigade. I am very glad 19th PC came out and joined us."
Williams also said she hopes that the walk will become an annual event to continue to raise awareness against sexual assault in the armed forces.
"When sexual assault happens to one of us, it happens to all of us," Fredenburgh said. "I encourage everyone to speak up if you see, hear or feel something is amiss, and motivate others to do the same. Together we are strong and getting stronger every day."