RICHMOND, Va. - Compassion. Hope. Commitment. These are some of the reasons people participated in the Suicide Prevention Awareness 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Defense Supply Center here, on Sep. 28, 2016. The 80th Training Command (TASS) held the event for all Department of Defense employees and their families.
As the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the 80th, Dr. Alvin Moore explained the goal of this event was to raise awareness of suicide and how we can all be a part of trying to prevent it.
"This is not just about saying we care but actually showing, in our day to day actions, that we genuinely care about one another," said Moore. "Each one of us needs to be aware of our coworkers, our battle buddies, and to look for signs that let us know when to intervene and prevent suicides."
The Fun Run/Walk drew 52 runners and walkers together, where "they had fun racing against each other, as well as showing hope and commitment to ending this terrible tragedy," said Col. Sandra Forrest, deputy chief of staff of logistics for the 80th TC. First place winners in each age-group category received certificates of appreciation and Panera Bread gift cards.
For Staff Sgt. Donald Albaugh, running in the 5K event was personal.
"I've had a family member who came really close to suicide, and I'm always reaching out to care for others," said Albaugh, assigned to the 7457th Medical Backfill Battalion, in Richmond, Va. "A simple act of kindness can help someone contemplating suicide to feel less alone. Even little things you do can have a big impact on someone who might be going through a difficult time."
1st Lt. Kayla Duff, human resource manager at the 80th TC, said that running the 5K was her way to show support for Moore and his work in helping Soldiers.
"Unfortunately, my cousin committed suicide in 2011, and this seems to always be on my mind," said Duff. "I'll do whatever I can to prevent this."
Chief Executive Officer for the 80th TC Mike Bland shared his thoughts at the event.
"The fact that you all showed up here today shows your passion and willingness to help deal with this very serious epidemic," said Bland. "Suicide touches every one of us in some way. I thank you for your commitment to end this sad problem."
If you or a loved one is suffering or experiencing a crisis, or have a friend who is suffering or in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), press 1 for the Military Crisis Line or text 838255.