News: Update: AA meeting on base moved to 6:30 p.m.
Story by Sgt. Rebekka Heite
QUANTICO, Va. - Alcoholics Anonymous will move their meeting time on base at the Yale Hall classroom every Wednesday, starting Oct 17.
“The AA meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. to allow members coming from (Washington, D.C.), the Pentagon and other areas sufficient time to make the meeting,” said Silbert H. Grant, Headquarters & Service Battalion, substance abuse control officer.
Though the time has changed, the sensitivities have not, and H&S Bn. is dedicated to accommodating the needs of all service members.
“Substance abuse is a deeply personal, catastrophic, career-effecting event,” said Col. James C. Brennan, H&S Bn. commanding officer and the Marine responsible for getting an AA chapter on base. “Most of the services available for [substance abuse support] are during the work day. I thought people would be more likely to use services after hours.”
The AA meeting on Quantico will be open to active duty service members, retired service members, DOD civilians and their family members.
The only stipulation is attendees cannot be counselors or members of the command staff, in other words commanding officers, sergeants major and first sergeants are not allowed to attend, said Grant.
“This is to ensure that what is said [at the AA meeting] stays there,” said Grant. “They are there to help each other, not to bring issues to the command’s attention.”
As a self-supportive group, the goal of any AA meeting is to bring men and women together to share their experiences, strengths and hope with each other while they work to solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism, Grant said.
“My goal was to create a venue where people are comfortable dealing with issues,” he added. “I’m not expecting 100 people to attend. But people want to and they’re trying to deal [with substance abuse] alone and they need support.
“It’s all about helping them help themselves.”
For information regarding substance abuse or AA meetings, contact Grant at 703-432-1474 or via email at email@example.com or the Consolidated Substance Abuse Counseling Center at 703-784-3502.
Editor’s note: To help keep the AA meetings anonymous, attendees are asked to come in through the classroom entrance on the back of Building 2006, Yale Hall.