VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Team Vandenberg assembled at the parade grounds for the monthly Fit-to-Fight Run April 30; however, this run was unique as Airmen wore blue or teal to show their support of child abuse and sexual assault awareness.
"I wore the blue to help remind people that this problem is serious, not only to the child, but to friends, coworkers and especially family members," said 1st Lt. Brian Guetschow, a 2nd Range Operations Squadron range officer here.
This month's wing run reminded Airmen that these tragic events do happen and can negatively affect the Air Force.
"As military members, we have all sworn to defend our country," said Col. Steven Winters, 30th Space Wing vice commander. "We need to take action to protect those who can't protect themselves."
Military members are called upon to not only abstain from illegal activities such as sexual assault and child abuse, but to also be aware of their surroundings and help prevent such heinous acts.
"Everyone should be aware of common signs of sexual assault and child abuse," said Donna Rathbun, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator here. "Knowing the signs will help alert people to situations where these activities might be taking place; if someone suspects sexual assault, it should be reported."
Some common signs of child abuse can include a child's change in behavior or apprehensiveness to going home. A guardian's lack to provide proper attention to a child's physical condition is also a form of child abuse that people should be aware.
"We (Airmen) tend to get busy in our own lives and forget that it is our responsibility to watch after our neighbor as well," Lieutenant Guetschow said.
In 2008 there were 387 investigations of sexual assault in the Air Force. These investigations can potentially cause undue stress to the victims and distract everyone involved from the mission. Today's Air Force deploys Airmen to all parts of the world to support the war effort as well as humanitarian aid. There is no room for these activities in the world's most dominant Air and Space power, according to the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Web site www.SAPR.mil
"America's Airmen deserve nothing less than our full devotion to eradicating the threatening behavior to their well being," said Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff. "This crime threatens our people, and, for that reason alone, it is intolerable and incompatible with who and what we are. Our Airmen serve in a dangerous world where others would seek to do them harm as enemies. We Will not rest until we eradicate all behavior that would similarly do them harm from within our ranks."
If you have been sexually assaulted, help can be provided by the base SARC at 606-7272.
If you suspect child abuse notify the law enforcement desk at 606-3911.