PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — About 125 Airmen and their families laced up their bowling shoes for the Peterson Air Force Base Family Advocacy Program’s inaugural “Strike-Out Domestic Violence” tournament Nov. 6, 2018, at the bowling center on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
“This is our very first year and we’ve had a fantastic turnout,” said Maj. Candee Berck, 21st Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy officer. “This is awesome.”
The Family Advocacy Program provides support for military personnel and their families who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, dating violence or elder abuse. Providers greeted participants from behind a table covered with pamphlets and other literature detailing the signs of domestic abuse, along with information about services the program offers.
“It’s important to raise awareness,” said Monica Ibarra, family advocacy provider.
“Strike-Out Domestic Violence” was a way for family advocacy providers to raise their profile here so that Airmen will feel more comfortable reaching out if they need their services, Berck said.
“We wanted to do something fun to get our faces out there,” she said.
The event was initially scheduled for Oct. 30, 2018, to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but providers opted to reschedule for the next week so as not to conflict with the Condor Crest preparedness exercise, Berck said.
The tournament drew single Airmen and families alike – including Col. Todd Moore, 21st Space Wing commander. Prizes were available for the top-scoring teams, but there was something for the losers as well – the “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” award.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of support from the wing,” Ibarra said. “It’s great to see our families and our leadership support us.”
Staff Sgt. Caleb Cleveland, 4th Space Operations Squadron, bowled strike after strike with daughter Abby perched atop his shoulders, while older daughter Stella Cleveland cheered on her dad from the floor.
“It’s good to take the kids out,” Cleveland said.
Berck hopes the tournament will be the start of the program’s ongoing efforts to develop personal relationships with individual Airmen.
“We’re trying to get into the units a little more, so that folks understand how much we care about them as people and that we’re not just trying to harm their careers,” she said.
To contact the Family Advocacy Program, call 719-556-8943.