Col. Robert J. Holcombe, Fort Rucker garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond P. Quitugua Jr., garrison command sergeant major, sign the proclamation during the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation Signing Oct. 5 in the atrium of Bldg. 5700. For more information on preventing domestic violence within the community, where to get help and planned events for the month, visit https://rucker.armymwr.com/ or Fort Rucker MWR’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FtRuckerACS/. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jim Hughes) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Fort Rucker garrison commander and command sergeant major reaffirmed the post’s dedication to preventing domestic violence when they signed its Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation Oct. 5.

Col. Robert J. Holcombe and Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond P. Quitugua Jr. began Fort Rucker’s observance of the month, which is designed to shine the light on domestic violence and inform people on what it is, how to prevent it and how to assist those who are dealing with it, according to Joy McCormick, Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program social worker.

“Preventing domestic violence is a shared community responsibility and it isn’t a one-time event,” McCormick said. “Preventing abuse starts with promoting awareness and understanding of what healthy relationships look like; providing ways for people to take steps, such as setting boundaries and seeking help in stressful times; and knowing what support is available.”

Holcombe said this year’s theme, United to End Domestic Abuse, is highly appropriate.

“We have to be together and we have to have that shared effort to prevent these things, to react to these things and to take care of our family,” he said, adding that domestic abuse can take many forms. “It could be psychological, emotional, financial – there are many ways that domestic abuse manifests itself within our families.

“Having that shared understanding, having that ability for the whole community to come together is really critical to preventing these types of things from happening,” Holcombe added.

He also spoke about the many resources available to members of the Fort Rucker community to help prevent domestic violence, and to help people when it does happen, including Military One-Source; ACS with its many programs, such as family advocacy, new parent support, and child and youth services; post chaplains; and the national (1-800-799-7233) and Fort Rucker (334-379-7947) domestic abuse hotlines.

“We have to be proactive in how we do this,” Holcombe said. “All of these resources can be brought to bear, and not just when we respond to an incident, but also if we think, hey I’m finding myself being very angry at my spouse lately, or we’ve hit a rough patch – talk to someone about it.

“If you see someone talking about struggles they’re having with their kids or spouse, advise them to come in and talk to someone,” he continued. “ACS has a ton of resources right here on post that can really help families work through those rough patches to prevent those relationships from getting to a point to where we are actually dealing with domestic violence or assault.

“That’s really what we want to do, push left and get proactive,” Holcombe added. “We can do that together – it’s not just going to be the person involved in the incident or the relationship to finally reach their breaking point. It can be any one of us when we identify a coworker, a friend or someone maybe just a little bit down and not acting the way they usually are. Be involved with them and let them know about their change in behavior, and also that you care enough to ask how they’re doing or what’s going on.

“The proclamation mentions that domestic violence is against Army values, but really it’s against human values,” he said. “We all have to be on the team – paying attention and making sure we’re helping each other out.”


* All month – Family advocacy will have awareness tables set up in the main exchange, Bldg. 5700, Lyster Army health Clinic and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service mini mall.

* Fridays in October – People are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for domestic violence survivors and hope for victims.

* Oct. 15 – “Let’s Chalk About Domestic Violence contest – people will begin their chalk art in the parking lot between Howze Field and the Combat Readiness Center at 8 a.m., with judging at 1 p.m. Chalk will be provided by the family advocacy program, but people can bring supplies to enhance their designs. Prizes will be given to the top two squares. Limited spots are available and people need to register by Oct. 11 by sending an email to dvamchalkart@gmail.com or calling 255-3898. For more information, check out the flier on the MWR website at https://rucker.armymwr.com/ or its Facebook page.

* Oct. 15-19 – The Fort Rucker Main Exchange will have rock painting tables set up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for families to paint with hopeful messages to give to the House of Ruth and Center for Child Abuse Prevention.

* Oct. 20 – Guest speaker Sully Velez will speak on surviving domestic abuse at 9 a.m. in the Spiritual Life Center. For more information, call 255-3898.

* Oct 21 – Family Pet Day from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Corvias Dog Park. Servicemembers and family members are invited to attend and hear from Mary Lou Randour, PhD., a psychologist and senior adviser for the Animals and Family Violence Program at the Animal Welfare Institute. The event will also feature flying disks and a pet costume contest.

* Oct. 30 – DVAM Family Fun Glow Night from 5-7 p.m. at the Fort Rucker Riding Stables. Family advocacy will provide educational materials on domestic violence, stress management and healthy relationships. The event will also feature music, purple glow sticks and other goodies, and children are welcome to attend in their costumes.