FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – A candlelight vigil in remembrance of victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence concluded the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade’s Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month events at Warrior-Sentinel Fields on April 30.
"The boots represent how many people were affected since this past October," said Staff Sgt. Saquawia Pennington, the brigade’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, as she pointed to a row of more than 50 pairs of combat boots laid before the audience.
"I want you all to let that sink in," she emphasized. "Even if it was one person affected by sexual harassment, or assault, or domestic violence, isn't that one too many?"
Pennington thanked the attendees and those who contributed artwork, poems or personal stories to help bring awareness to the lives affected and those lost.
"This year's theme is Building Cohesive Teams Through Character, Trust and Resilience," said Col. Loren Traugutt, commander of the 111th MI Bde. "Protecting our people protects our mission."
Victims are forever changed emotionally, physically and spiritually, he said.
"Caring for those affected by sexual offenses is more than just requesting services, calling law enforcement, and providing information; there must be an intentional focus on the whole person’s care and support."
Support is making sure to provide the victim with advocacy at all levels on their path to recovery, he explained.
"When we stand strong as a team, we become a vital component in the prevention and eradication of sexual assault throughout the military," Traugutt said. "We can create a culture of trust where anyone can speak up without fear of retaliation.
“If you are a victim, you will be heard. You will not stand alone.
"This is what we mean by 'people first’."
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 964 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army's Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca.