By Aimee Malone
Fort McCoy Public Affairs
Fort McCoy organizations launched their observations of several awareness months with a virtual kick-off event April 1.
Garrison and tenant leadership filmed the signing of several proclamations March 18 so the video would be ready to air April 1. The proclamations ware to promote awareness and demonstrate support for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Alcohol Awareness Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, and National Autism Awareness Month.
Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, 88th Readiness Division commanding general and Fort McCoy senior commander; Brig. Gen. Stacy Babcock, 86th Training Division commanding general; Col. Michael Poss, Fort McCoy garrison commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Mantha, Fort McCoy garrison command sergeant major; Col. David Woodruff, 181st Multifunctional Training Brigade commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Clifton Morehouse, 181st MFTB command sergeant major; Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Larson, Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant; and Command Sgt. Maj. Heriberto Quintana, NCO Academy deputy commandant, all signed the proclamations.
“Sexual assault harms unit cohesion, erodes readiness, and is contrary to Army values,” Guthrie says in the signing video. “We can’t accomplish the 88th Readiness Division mission if there is a hint of sexual harassment or even one sexual assault within the command. Please help me this month, and every month, so that someday we can eliminate sexual assault in my squad.”
Guthrie also spoke of the importance of promoting awareness of the other April observances.
“Remember that the Army has programs and resources to help you cope with sexual assault or harassment, overcome alcohol abuse, confront child abuse issues, or live with an autistic child,” Guthrie said. “These are all important areas to emphasize not just in April, but every month.”
At the kick-off event, which was conducted over Microsoft Teams on April 1 with individual segments filmed for later release, employees of programs related to the month’s observances shared some important information about their programs and any planned activities for the month.
One of the highlights includes poet and sexual-violence prevention advocate Obbie West’s presentation for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The event will have two sessions at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. April 14. Limited in-person seating is available; participants must contact their unit’s sexual-assault response coordinator or victim advocate for tickets. The event will also be shared on Microsoft Teams. The Fort McCoy Army Community Service Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FortMcCoyACS/ will share the link.
Participants can show support throughout the month by wearing teal on Tuesdays and Thursdays for sexual-violence victims and survivors and by wearing blue to support autism awareness.
The Family Advocacy Program (under Army Community Service) is hosting several parenting workshops in support of child-abuse prevention and autism awareness. These workshops overlap well with Month of the Military Child. Fort McCoy Child and Youth Services will be hosting special events for students at the Child Development Center and School Age Center throughout the month.
All videos have been posted on Fort McCoy’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FtMcCoy/. Special events can be found on the Army Community Service Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FortMcCoyACS/ or on the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website’s calendar at https://mccoy.armymwr.com/calendar.