FORT HOOD, Texas - Leaders from Fort Hood and the surrounding community gathered together March 30 to sign a proclamation in support of ending child abuse.
The ceremony, hosted by III Corps Commanding General Lt. Gen. Pat White, marked the start of the Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Month of the Military Child observances.
“The proclamation is a statement by the (installation) commander affirming the installation’s commitment towards the support of the campaign,” Monique Russell, Family Advocacy Program manager, said.
“Child abuse prevention actually started back in 1982 with the Child Abuse Prevention Enforcement Act that was enacted by Congress,” Russell explained. “The following year, President Ronald Reagan made it a full mind.
“So we’ve been doing this since the ‘80s, just taking a pause to recognize the issues involved in child abuse and neglect,” Russell continued. “But also to take kind of like a knee and pause as a community and take stock of what we can do and what some of our individual responsibilities can be in helping prevent child abuse.”
This year’s theme for CAPM is “All in to end child abuse.” The proclamation signifies the intent to end child abuse directed at military children.
“For the last 35 years, the Department of Defense recognizes military children in April,” Col. Jason Wesbrock, commander of U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, stated. “Our event today is meant to show the Great Place remains committed to the well-being, care and safety of our children.”
During the event, Jose Sanchez, Montague Youth Center Child of the Year, presented a poem about the struggle and adaptation of military children.
“I’ve gotten experiences not many get, a lot of people I’m glad to have met,” Sanchez recited. “Living this life has its many perks, you see; being a military child is fine with me.”
The proclamation was also signed by many leaders from the Fort Hood community, including Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Harker Heights mayors; Killeen and Copperas Cove school district superintendents, and representatives from Child Protective Services and Child Advocacy Center.
“I ask that every Soldier, civilian, those representing our great organization ... continue to work with Fort Hood families as we set a safe and secure foundation in which all children may be raised in caring relationships, free of fear and abuse,” Wesbrock said. “I ask that you demonstrate your commitment with me as we pledge our continuing support for building resilient families, and ensuring quality care and safety.”
Along with the proclamation against child abuse, April signifies the recognition of the military child and is supported by many events dedicated to showing the community’s recognition of the struggle of military children and gratitude in their resiliency to deal with these struggles, as well as offering resources to military parents.
Resources offered by Fort Hood Army Community Service’s Family Advocacy Program include classes in support of new and experienced parents designed to help any level of parenting in order to nurture positive behaviors and well-rounded families.
Parents can attend classes such as “Common Sense Parenting,” “Expect Respect,” “Boot Camp for New and Expectant Dads,” “Shaken Baby Syndrome Class,” and much more. Registration for these classes is offered by emailing email@example.com or calling (254) 618-7443.
On April 14, the FAP will be hosting an “Explore Learn & Play: Drive-Through Fun Day” event, which is a drive-through event in support of military children. Aimed at children from infant to age 3, parents will be able to drive their children through the event at the Bronco Youth Center driveway here, and be able to pick up goody backs filled with arts and crafts supplies. The will also be able to drive through stations that include child safety, child passenger safety, and other resources offered by ACS.
For more information on what is offered through ACS and FAP, as well as the events being hosted this month in support of the military child, visit https://hood.armymwr.com/programs/family-advocacy-program or visit www.facebook.com/forthoodfmwr.