ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
October is Triple Ribbon Month at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
Col. Brian Moore, Installation Commander, talked about the importance of bringing awareness to breast cancer, substance abuse and domestic violence during the Robins Proud Forum held September 29 at the base chapel and live on Facebook.
“We are here to kick off this special month-long observance, which promotes health mindfulness in order to build a vigorous and fit community,” said Moore. “We want people to be aware that on this base there is help for problems with relationship violence and drugs or support for those dealing with breast cancer.”
Before delving deeper into the awareness topics, Moore took time to recognize Kerry Rogers, a Gold Star son.
His father, Air Force Pilot Maj. Charles E. “Bud” Rogers, was killed in action while flying over Laos on May 4, 1967.
“Maj. Rogers was a true patriot. He served our country in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War,” said Moore. “As a teenager, he went directly into the Merchant Marines, joined the Navy and then became a pilot in our great Air Force. We thank him for his sacrifice.”
Recognizing Gold Star families is a staple of Robins Proud Forums.
“I was amazed and not expecting all of this,” said Rogers. “The fact that they honored my father and his service and our family means a lot.”
The phrase “Gold Star Family” dates back to World War I.
During that time, military families would display service flags featuring a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the Armed Forces.
The star’s color would be changed to gold if the family lost a loved one in the war, thus the term, “Gold Star Family.”
In 1936, the last Sunday of September was designated as National Gold Star Mother’s Day.
Rogers added “Being acknowledged, tells us we are not forgotten, and it gives us something to hold on to,” Rogers said.
In recognition of Triple Ribbon Month, Moore led the signing of a proclamation. Also taking part were Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms, Centerville Mayor Robert Harley, Perry Mayor Randall Walker and Houston County Commissioner Tommy Stalnaker.
“These are three causes we need to work on and prevent,” said Toms. “I think the partnership between the cities, the county and Robins Air Force Base is so critical in us reaching each other as we move forward in these causes and others.
The Proud event also featured a panel of experts: Staff Sgt. Austin Dorsey, non-commissioned officer-in-charged 78th Medical Group Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment; Rolando Decker, 78th Air Base Wing Drug Demand Reduction Program manager; Renee Hubbard, Robins MDG Family Advocacy Program; Paula Pugh, 78th MDG Disease Management Nurse; LaDella Snell, Warner Robins Salvation Army Safe House.
The following are just a few questions addressed by the panel.
What impact has COVID-19 had on domestic violence in our community?
“Since the pandemic started, we have received an increase in calls seeking help on how to get restraining orders. Those calls were between one and four a day, now it is up to 10. Those calling are wanting the abuser to stop contacting them or to leave the home. COVID-19 has forced people to stay inside and things are getting worse in already volatile relationships. The Salvation Army does provide a safe house for women in need trying to leave an abusive situation. We offer temporary protective orders and transitional services if a woman wants to leave.” - Snell
What are the current screening guidelines for breast cancer?
“Normally, for a woman 40 years old is the baseline for breast cancer screening. If you have a family member who has had breast cancer - like a grandmother or sister- you should get a screening at 30 years old. It is important to be consistent in performing monthly self-breast examinations to check for lumps.” - Pugh
What are some resources for a person who thinks they may have a problem with drugs?
“We have lots of resources for people to get help with a possible addiction here on base or out in the community. There is Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, the ADAPT program for active duty employees. The latter provides individual counseling, alcohol education and group counseling.” - Decker