Elementary school children carrying signs and banners declaring, "there is no excuse for child abuse," and "we're all in it together" followed in step behind members of the 282nd Army Band playing jovial marches.

The children, musicians and Fort Jackson officials were marching against child abuse as part of the Month of the Military Child.

"At Family Advocacy (Program) we work very hard to do everything we can against child abuse (and recognizing military children)," said Charles Lewis, a Family Advocacy Program specialist with the installation's Army Community Service office. "This is simply a statement of the effort we put forth in an effort to put Fort Jackson to the forefront of recognizing the children and preventing child abuse."

Brandon Jackson, Fort Jackson's 2016 Youth of the Year, lauded the efforts of the post to protect the youngest community members.

He gave his thanks "to the entire Fort Jackson community that takes care of us and looks after us. In addition to all the duty and responsibilities" the installation also "embraced the well-being protection and support of military youth in this community."

Fort Jackson's commander, Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson said to the children assembled to walk they are the future and "when we talk our protecting our children we mean it."

Johnson and Scott Nahrwold, Fort Jackson's deputy garrison commander walked in the march alongside the children, community members and parents as they wound their way from the installation's Commissary and up Imboden Street passing Soldiers in Training at every intersection.
"We are all about you. If there is one thing I am proud of it's the military Family," he said. Military parents have "really tough jobs" adding they "are at work more than they are" with their children.

"We are very passionate about making sure that we are providing a community where we all thrive," he said.

One way to make the community better is to support and protect the children.

Johnson said he hopes community members "during this month as we walk around we do things" think about the children.