HILL AIR FORCE BASE — October is the trifecta of events on base with three observances – Drug Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which has culminated into a Triple Ribbon Month recognition on Hill AFB with events focused on all three observances to include a fun run, information fair, a breast cancer brunch, and two lunch and learn sessions.
The theme of the month is Recognize, Respond, and Refer, in an effort to help people learn to recognize symptoms of domestic violence, substance abuse and breast cancer. All too often people may not recognize the signals, or if they do, not know where to turn, so Hill AFB is trying to help people be prepared if and when they encounter a situation that needs attention.
“Through this Triple Ribbon Campaign, we want to help Team Hill better recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of domestic violence, substance abuse, and breast cancer in their own lives and the lives of friends, family, and coworkers; also, once a problem is identified, we want them to know what resources are available to help the person in need,” said Family Advocacy Intervention Specialist Steve Sorenson.
Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate Katie Sutton hopes the various activities on base will help Team Hill better appreciate that while domestic violence may happen behind closed doors, it is a community issue.
“Studies show that one in three women will be a victim of domestic violence during their life, this further makes domestic violence a community issue, as well as a public health issue. We want everyone at Team Hill to know how to recognize and respond to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors about domestic violence, and to be able to refer families to appropriate resources so the cycle of violence is stopped,” Sutton said.
In the past, Hill AFB has done separate events for all three observances. This year, the three groups have joined forces since the idea of recognizing, responding, and referring applies equally to all three themes.
Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager Sue Smith, realizes prevention isn’t calculable, but she does believe the awareness campaigns help in the long run.
“On my part, we want families to be more aware of what’s going on around them, and realize that just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s not harmful,” Smith said. “Synthetic drugs are coming onto the market constantly, and they seem to have more harmful effects than the real stuff.”
Currently Smith said there is a new concoction recently developed in Russia using cocaine, lighter fluid, and other harmful substances that eats the skin from the inside out, giving the skin a rotting look similar to a crocodile. “It started in Russia and we are looking to see if it spreads over here. It is all about awareness. “ Smith said.
The Triple Ribbon Month events begin with a 5K color fun run on Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. starting at the HAWC and running along the duck pond trail. On Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be an Awareness Fair in the north patient parking lot of the Medical Group to include an impaired driving course that individuals can attempt to drive with drugged/drunk goggles on.
On Oct. 15, a Breast Cancer Awareness Brunch will be held at The Landing from 10 a.m. until 11:30. Mary Nickles from KUTV News will be speaking about her experience as a breast cancer survivor. Invitations will be sent out to the base population. Tickets will be available for $10.
On Oct. 22, a Drug Awareness Lunch will be held from 11 a.m. until noon at the HAWC with an Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent talking about the presence of drugs on base and in surrounding communities. Those attending the event are asked to bring their own lunch.
On Oct. 29, the Domestic Violence Awareness Lunch and Learn event is from 11 a.m. until noon at the HAWC where Safe Harbor Shelter Director Cacey Yeates will speak. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunch.
(75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.)