An expression of gratitude: SARC office thankful for volunteers and support

  • Published
  • By Holly Wick
  • Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
"An expression of gratitude for something" is the Encarta Dictionary's definition for "giving thanks." 

I am the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and Debra Glenn is the Lead Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA). As a small, two-person office, our jobs would be much more difficult if we didn't have such a fantastic volunteer force helping us throughout the year. 

As the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPR) on base, we would like to give thanks to all of the Victim Advocates (VAs) at Malmstron who volunteer their time to help victims of sexual assault during a very traumatic time in the victims' lives. Our VAs include Airmen 1st Class Bianca Barton, Ashley Miller, Tobi Odesanya, Summer Lee Ramos, and Aubrey Sartorelli; Senior Airmen Brandon Biehn, Jeremy Flores, Shelby McCrief, Jamal Moss, Brittany Nedrow, Janae Santos, and Angela Smith; Staff Sgts. Saniel Clarey, Melissa Clouatre, Steven Gonzalez, Johnathan Hudock, Jenniepher Mangco, Christopher Setts, Sheena Smith, and Ciara Worthen; Tech. Sgts. Marveline Engle, Satina Haywood, Chloe Martin, and Hilary Phillips; Master Sgts. Michael Braun and Sherri Crandall; 2nd Lt. Amy Bragg; 1st Lts. Theresa Agostos-Smart, Christine Arnott, Laura Carroll, and Iman Lyons; and civilians Carolyn Dowdy, Kelly Helms, Christy Mason, Lori Muzzana, and Amia Watson.

The VAs voluntarily man the 24/7 Sexual Assault (SA) Help Line, 406-781-6005, during evening and weekend hours. Undertaking this responsibility means having to possibly go to the emergency room in the middle of the night to advocate and support a SA survivor. In turn, that means the advocate can't partake in some of the traditional weekend activities because he or she is on-call.

The VAs are also the trained experts for their squadrons and the safe and confidential people to talk to in all the areas across the base if you have questions, concerns or want to report an assault. All of our VAs are extremely passionate about supporting and helping victims/survivors.

Can I say again how much I appreciate all of the SAPR team members!

Also, I am very thankful for a caring command leadership team, along with many supportive agencies on and off Malmstrom.  For example, when our office speaks with commanders about an unrestricted report (when an investigation takes place), the first response I receive from command leadership is "How is the member doing? How can I help?" This type of support is critical in our program, and it makes the world of difference to a sexual assault survivor who is on the path to healing.

While we are on the course of letting folks know how important they are and how appreciative we are in working with the many important agencies, let me say "thank you" to the behind-the-scenes people such as the chaplain staff and mental health care providers that are always on call to help SA survivors who want to report a restricted report (a confidential report) and may just want to talk or receive counseling.
It is an honor to work in an office where we can give help with resources and referral information to all who are affected by a sexual assault, and a special honor to serve the survivors/victims of sexual assault.  As John F. Kennedy once stated, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."