MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office hosted a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness ruck march, Nov. 2, 2018.
Participants each brought 14 non-perishable food items to sign up for the event.
“The items will be donated to the Operation: Warm Heart food locker so that the first sergeants will be able to put together holiday baskets for families in need at Mountain Home AFB,” said Katherine Miller, 366th SAPR sexual assault response coordinator.
The planning for the ruck march started out as any event to raise awareness, but the idea for the ruck march grew to imitate what it’s like being in the shoes of an abused victim.
“You want to weigh down the backpack, because you want to simulate the weight that a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault carries with them after the abuse happens,” Miller said.
During the planning of the ruck march, one of Miller’s sexual assault advocates brought up an idea that solidified the plan.
“One of my victim advocates said, ‘What about cans of food?' We can donate the food to a local food locker to help resupply the community," Miller said. “From there we decided that we were going to have individuals bring canned or non-perishable foods to put in a backpack and ruck march to all the different agencies that can help a victim.”
The participants of the ruck march dropped off a food item at over 16 agencies to simulate the weight being lifted off a victim’s shoulders when they use these agencies as a resource.
Not only did Airmen spread awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault, they also supported the local community by donating over 300 food items to Operation: Warm Heart.
“We are so thankful for this ruck march because it helps supply and stock the first sergeant’s food pantry right before the holidays, which is crucial,” said Master Sgt. Yillian Barriere, 366th Fighter Wing A-Staff first sergeant. “This food helps out our Gunfighters that may be in need.”