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    Marines grow 'Afghanistache' for men’s health awareness

    Marines grow 'Afghanistache' for men's health awareness

    Photo By Sgt. Shannon Yount | Sgt. Abel Graciano, supply administration chief, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Shannon Yount 

    1st Marine Logistics Group

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – During the month of November, some Marines in Afghanistan are growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health.

    During the monthlong event, dubbed “Movember,” growing a ‘stache promotes prostate cancer awareness.

    According to the Movember Web site, the mustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a mustache for 30 days.

    “It’s not the norm for Marines to have facial hair and to have it grown for a cause,” said Sgt. Abel Graciano, supply administration chief, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), who began growing his mustache Nov. 1. “I am growing it in support of men’s health.”

    As much as it itches and requires extra hygiene maintenance to keep within military standards, Graciano is committed to growing his “nose neighbor.”

    “As much as I want to cut if off, I won’t because I made a commitment and am in it for the long haul,” said Graciano, who also participated in Movember in 2009.

    It often gets the attention of close friends and co-workers when an individual grows a ‘stache.

    “Other males come up and ask me why all of a sudden I’m growing a mustache,” said Graciano, 30, from Los Angeles. “I explain to them why and what the cause is for.”

    Informing others of the cause has not only helped spread the word but has also inspired others to commit to the cause.

    The idea for Movember began 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, when a group of men conceived a plan for a global men’s health movement. Since then, Movember has continued to grow each year expanding to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Finland, according the group’s Web site.

    The funds raised through Movember’s U.S. campaign benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

    “A few Marines have started to grow a mustache since I told them about it,” he said. “I think they support it because it is different.”

    As November comes to an end, Graciano not only plans to finish his commitment but also plans to make future commitments during Movember.

    “It’s my way of showing support,” said Graciano. “I’m not out there with a flyer or board,” he said. “My personal appearance speaks louder than words.”

    For more information about Movember, visit



    Date Taken: 11.20.2010
    Date Posted: 11.21.2010 14:50
    Story ID: 60602

    Web Views: 927
    Downloads: 14