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Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 FW teams with local community to tackle child abuse

by Airman 1st Class Brittain Crolley
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/8/2014 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Members of the 4th Fighter Wing joined Wayne County officials for a Child Abuse Prevention Proclamation Ceremony, April 8, in downtown Goldsboro, N.C.

Col. Jeannie Leavitt, 4 FW commander, along with key community members, signed a city proclamation declaring the start of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The annual observation started in 1983 to promote child well-being. According to city officials, this year's theme, "Caring Communities Make the Difference," highlights the commitment everyone in the community must make to create a positive change. The signing of the proclamation also falls in line with the Department of Defense's observation of April as the Month of the Military Child.
During the ceremony, Leavitt spoke about the importance of awareness in preventing child abuse and the need for the community to come together to provide a healthy environment for children to grow.

"Any instance of child abuse or neglect is one too many," Leavitt stated. "Today's proclamation isn't a beginning and it isn't an end. It's simply a reminder that we have a job to do and it's incredibly important. Together, we can make a difference."

The Child Abuse Prevention Month flag was also raised over city hall where it will remain throughout the month. According to city officials, it represents the city's commitment to helping children who have been abused.

"Here in Wayne County, I stand proud to say that we work together as a community to prevent child abuse," said Trebor Jackson, Wayne County juvenile court counselor. "The success that we have had, as well as other communities, I believe, is created because we work together."

At the conclusion of the ceremony Leavitt interacted with children in attendance and talked to parents about the programs offered at Seymour Johnson for its military families.

"Our children are our nation's most precious resource and we cannot afford to fail them," Leavitt said. "The Air Force invests a great deal in its family advocacy programs, but those programs rely heavily on other agencies to succeed. At Seymour Johnson, we're privileged to have phenomenal support from Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro."

This year, the base will hold various events celebrating children in the community, including a children's block party, April 12 at 10 a.m., at the Youth Center. The event is open to all base personnel and will feature free food, an Easter egg hunt and entertainment. For more information, call the point of contact at (919) 722-0502.

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