Fort Lee students win door decorating contest
Pictured from left, Privates Phylene Marquez, Tessa Bamer, Nedia Guerrero, Emily Wycough, Chelsea Burkhammer and Tiffany Brijall pose with their winning entry for the Alpha Company, 16th Ordnance Battalion door decorating contest recognizing the April observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. (U.S. Army Photo) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – A group of advanced individual training Soldiers here has won a door decorating contest conducted in recognition of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month observance.

Pictured from left in the photo are Privates Phylene Marquez, Tessa Bamer, Nedia Guerrero, Emily Wycough, Chelsea Burkhammer and Tiffany Brijall. They decorated a door on the first floor of the Alpha Company, 16th Ordnance Battalion barracks. There were five entries in all.

A drawing of the Greek Goddess Athena served as the centerpiece of the winning entry. To her left is an essay explaining the symbolism.

“We chose Athena because she represents the strength we, male and female Soldiers, need to possess in order to tackle sexual assault,” a portion of the write-up detailed. “She also symbolizes unity and personal courage. Female and male Soldiers alike need to come together as a band of brothers and sisters to place the mission first and use their voices to kick-start change. … We are all one team. We are all warriors, and we all have a piece of Athena in us.”

Surrounding the remainder of the winning display are notecards highlighting sexual assault statistics and the steps of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) response method. It is easily remembered by the acronym TALK: thank them for telling you; ask how you can help; listen without judgement; and keep supporting them because healing has no timeline.

A quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. adds an additional exclamation point … “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The door decorating contest is just one example of the many SAAPM activities happening across Fort Lee – the Army’s Sustainment Center of Excellence.  Command groups have held proclamation signing ceremonies (www.army.mil/article/244921). Multiple garrison offices participated in “Teal Tuesday,” an invitation for office groups to capture a photo of themselves wearing the color associated with the sexual assault prevention campaign (see photos at www.instagram.com/armyfortlee). All student training companies have been conducting art contests, competitive events and mentorship discussions. A video featuring Dr. James Walker, CASCOM SHARP program manager, can be viewed at www.facebook.com/USACASCOM.