News: Carter Hall walks for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
ATLANTIC OCEAN – Sailors and Marines participated in the first ceremony and walk for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) March 28.
The walk kicked off Navy Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which begins April 1, in order to educate sailors and Marines about the effects of sexual assault in the Navy.
“We are brothers and sisters-in-arms,” said Cmdr. Greg Blyden, commanding officer of Carter Hall. “Together we can put forth our efforts for the prevention of sexual assault and increase awareness.”
SAAM advocates aboard spent the past week putting together the event and encouraging sailors and embarked Marines to participate.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we hope that this event can bring each of us together,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Cheryl Kurianowicz. “This event helps sailors and Marines to identify with each other and can help give them the courage to hopefully stand up for what is right and wrong.”
More than 300 service members participated in the SAAM walk in order to show their support and to sign a vow to help prevent sexual assault.
“I am here for all of the individuals who needed help and didn’t know who they could turn to,” said Quartermaster 3rd Class Sholonda Boynes, victim advocate for Carter Hall. “The walk is a representation of all the sailors and Marines interested in supporting the prevention of sexual assault.”
This is the first year that Carter Hall has participated in a SAAM ceremony and walk.
Carter Hall is deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group with embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).