By Gloria Montgomery, CRDAMC Public Affairs
FORT HOOD (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas— Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center employees, Sheilah Priori and Sonya Woodson, step up their strides during the hospital’s 71-hour relay run/walk to demonstrate support for sexual assault survivors. Nearly 1,500 people from ages 3 weeks to 75 years came out to show their support during the event that spanned four days. The 1st Cavalry Division’s cannon boom marked the start of the 71-hour event at 10 a.m. Friday, April 5, and ended when the last participant crossed the finish line at 9 a.m. Monday, April 8. The run represents the 71 sexual assault survivors, who in 2018, sought help through CRDAMC’s Emergency Department and its Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exam Program (SAMFE). Preceding the ceremony was a symbolic trot around the designated track from 1st Cavalry Division’s horse detachment. The purpose of the annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence. This year’s theme is “Making Strides Against Assault.”
Launched in 2014 as part of the National Defense Act that mandated assignment of forensically trained sexual assault personnel to military units, the SAMFE program provides 24-hour services, seven days a week to TRICARE beneficiaries 14 years and older, as well as non-beneficiary victims of on-post assaults. The forensic response team also provides support to those survivors from trauma to trial.