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    I MEF Marines attend leadership awareness conference

    I MEF Marines attend leadership awareness conference

    Photo By Sgt. Joshua Young | Retired Marine Col. “Black Jack” Matthews addresses a group of Marine...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Joshua Young 

    I Marine Expeditionary Force

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines and sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force attended a leadership awareness conference at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 25.

    The conference, hosted by Heroes and Healthy Families, alongside Marine Corps Community Services and Marine and Family Programs of Camp Pendleton, addressed issues of suicide, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, substance addiction and adversity management.
    The speakers also focused on strong leadership and tips to promote mental health.

    “You can’t have heroes if you don’t have healthy families,” said Lt. Gen. John Toolan, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force. “We need some help. You’re the leaders of the Corps, and you’re the ones who interact with the Marines on a day-to-day basis.”

    Alyce La Violette, a marriage, family child counselor, who spoke on domestic violence, instructed service members how to recognize and control anger.

    “All of us have hot buttons,” Violette said. “You have to be prepared for situations that make you angry. Anger has no place in love.”

    Sgt. Michael Lagalbo, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, spoke on managing adversity. Lagalbo, a victim of sexual assault, described his recovery process and pleaded with service members to seek help if they’ve been a victim or know someone who has.

    “The Marine Corps has great victims advocates,” he said. “If you need one, you should get one. There’s counseling available for anyone who needs it. Take advantage of it.”
    Master Sgt. Brad “Iceman” Colbert, a reconnaissance Marine whose platoon was the inspiration behind the HBO series “Generation Kill”, tackled stress. He spoke on how to recognize and handle stress and keep it under control at home.

    “Be honest and recognize the behaviors of your Marines that are out of the ordinary, and bring it up to them,” he said. “The best resource we have is each other.”
    Retired Army Maj. Gen. Mark A. Graham, focused on suicide prevention and coping with a loss. Graham lost one son to suicide and another was killed during combat operations shortly after.

    “No one is isolated from hardship,” he said. “Everyone seems to be going through something. We can’t be quiet any longer. We can’t ignore the warning signs.”
    The room was quiet while the speakers engaged the audience. Marines lined up to meet the speakers during breaks and after the conference.

    “This meeting is outstanding,” said Cpl. Joshua M. Albert, a military policeman with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I MEF. “It’s not a death by PowerPoint production. It’s very personable, and the emotion is so thick you can cut it with a knife.”
    The Marines and sailors were encouraged to take what they learned at the conference, teach their Marines and provide resources for help.

    “You’re the mentors, the protectors and the leaders of Marines,” said Medal of Honor recipient, and retired Marine, Thomas Kelley.

    “You have to steer them to a safe haven where they can be helped to come back as part of the team.”



    Date Taken: 10.25.2012
    Date Posted: 11.02.2012 11:04
    Story ID: 97185
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 

    Web Views: 1,584
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