By Jim Hughes, Fort Rucker Public AffairsOctober 7, 2019
FORT RUCKER, Ala -- If there are people living with the horror of domestic abuse within the Fort Rucker community, it doesn't have to be that way, according the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general.
The Army has programs and resources available on post to help, but people need to identify the problem and report it, Maj. Gen. David J. Francis said just prior to signing the Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation with Col. Whitney B. Gardner, Fort Rucker garrison commander, at The Landing Oct. 3.
"Domestic violence is what I consider to be an insider threat in our formations," the general continued. "We have families that suffer, and it's not just the families that suffer -- it effects how we operate here, and it affects where we live, where we work, where we play and where we worship. It has no place here."
He added that it's up to leadership on the post, and the community at large, to identify instances of domestic abuse so it can be dealt with by the Army's helping agencies.
"For anyone out there who has or is suffering from domestic violence or abuse, it doesn't have to be that way," Francis said. "We have the resources that can help identify these problems and take corrective action through those programs. This is a detriment to the readiness of our Army, a detriment to our mission at Fort Rucker and it's a detriment to our community.
"And we don't have to stand for it," he added. "I'm proud to stand up here today, along with all of the leaders in this room, and say we're not going to stand for it. We're going to apply every resource at our disposal to eliminate this problem from the Fort Rucker community."
That's music to the ears of Luticia Trimble-Smith, Fort Rucker Family Advocacy Program manager, one of the helping agencies leading the charge against domestic violence.
"We have an opportunity to raise awareness -- you, everyone in this room -- on domestic violence and how to prevent it," she said, adding that the program she oversees "is fully committed to assisting leaders in taking care of our people, and investing in the health and mission preparedness of our Soldiers and families."
Army Community Service will host several free events during the month to help Fort Rucker Soldiers and families with "a chance to get out and connect with other families and learning how to prevent domestic violence," Trimble-Smith said.
Fort Rucker Dating Game -- Oct. 7, 4-5:30 p.m., at the Spiritual Life Center -- is described as a fun an educational game that shows people the signs of a healthy relationship.
Paint it Purple -- Oct. 8, 6-8 p.m., at The Landing. Registration is required by Oct. 7 for this night of canvas painting to promote awareness through art that seeks to inspire people to reflect, think and take action for healthier relationships.
"Janet's Story" -- Oct. 15, 9-11:30 a.m., Wings Chapel. The Protestant Women of the Chapel will put on this interactive production that shows domestic violence from a victim's perspective.
Purple Ribbon Walk -- Oct. 25, noon to 12:30 p.m., at Sgt. Ted E. Bear. People are invited to wear purple, and walk with family, friends and co-workers to stand up and bring awareness to help end domestic violence.
For more information on preventing domestic violence or any of the events above, call 255-3898. To report domestic violence, call the 24/7 victim advocacy hotline at 334-379-7947.