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    SAAPM Ruck March in Sparta

    SAAPM Ruck March in Sparta

    Photo By Sgt. Ryan Tatum | Maj. Larry Gwinn, brigade adjutant for 181st Infantry Brigade, gives donation items to...... read more read more

    SPARTA, WI, UNITED STATES

    04.30.2021

    Story by Sgt. Ryan Tatum 

    181st Infantry Brigade

    Soldiers from 181st Infantry Brigade conducted a Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month ruck April 30, in Sparta, Wis.

    Soldiers rucked five miles to bring awareness to the local community and show their support for the local domestic violence/sexual assault advocacy program.

    “We reached out to Brighter Tomorrows and found out they lost about $46,000 in donations because of COVID-19, so we decided to find out what kind of donations we can do and build a ruck march that met the brigade commander’s intent and also increase our presence in the community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Settles, a sexual assault response coordinator for 181st Infantry Brigade.

    Brighter Tomorrows is a community based advocacy program that serves all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Monroe County. Jan Bruder, a representative for Brighter Tomorrows, expressed her feelings about the donations and what is important for her organization.

    “It’s just fantastic, it’s just much bigger than what I pictured, seeing all these people out supporting the community. It’s wonderful we are getting the donations, but the biggest thing is visibility right now and awareness,” said. Bruder. “We have not been able to go out in the community and do that, so I think today was amazing and it is one of the biggest events we have ever had so we are really excited.”

    Prior to COVID-19, Brighter Tomorrows would see two to three new clients a week, but since last March, they are averaging 1.5 to two new clients per work day. Bruder foresees a partnership with Fort McCoy in the future.

    “Fort McCoy is in Monroe County, we have not had a ton of opportunities to collaborate, it really helps us to spread awareness and helps our agency to be more visible in the community as well,” said Bruder. “I think as many times as we can, finding opportunities to work together is very important.”

    Settles collaborated with many local organizations to ensure the ruck march was successful and expressed his gratitude to each one of them.
    “I appreciated the support from everybody, it was not just us: it was the Sparta Police Department, Sparta Parks and Recreation Department, the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, the Fort McCoy garrison Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention team, and the 88th Readiness Division SHARP team,” said Settles. “We had a bunch of donations from the Fort McCoy commissary: they donated 310 pounds of items and brought awareness themselves on social media. This was a really big community event. It was amazing; this will stick with me for the rest of my military career and life.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.30.2021
    Date Posted: 05.04.2021 16:59
    Story ID: 395629
    Location: SPARTA, WI, US 

    Web Views: 18
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN