June SARC's Remarks: Acceptance, Ownership, and Action!

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Last week's SAPR Stand-down Day was phenomenal! A first of its kind here at Sheppard, and quite honestly, I couldn't remember being more proud of our team!

We opened our gates to allow in the media to see how we, as a concerned team, support each other in taking on these tough challenges. As we told them, this issue with sexual assaults in the military is one we share with the folks outside the gate.

Here's a couple of "did you know" questions...

Did you know....that a substantial majority of Americans (81 percent) view sexual assault in the military as an extremely or very important issue, but the public does not believe the problem of sexual assault is a bigger problem in the military than outside it: Just 11 percent say it is more of a problem inside the military, 23 percent say it is more of a problem outside the military, while 63 percent say it is about the same.

Did you know....that while 40 percent say the reports of sexual assault in the military represent underlying problems with military culture, a majority (54 percent) says they represent individual acts of misconduct.

Did you know....that about half of Americans (52 percent) have a great deal or fair amount of confidence that military leaders will make the right decisions when it comes to the problem of sexual assault in the military, but just 36 percent express at least a fair amount of confidence in Congress on this issue.

My take on getting a handle on this crime is two-fold:

1) Situations can go south very quickly, so having a wingman, one who is willing to stand up and be active, even when it's not popular or cool, is critical; and

2) Secondly, be willing to step forward if you feel you've been assaulted - no one help you, if you don't tell us.

Sounds simple, right? Being a good wingman, it's the coolest thing you will ever do, because the more you do it, the easier it gets and your actions definitely speak louder than words!

Remember, we're here for you 24/7, so if you feel that you've been a victim of sexual assault, call us at 676-7272. See you in the classroom!

Val, Chief SARC