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News > ‘Survivors Speak Out’ during breakfast at Scott
'Survivors Speak Out' during breakfast at Scott AFB

Posted 11/3/2010   Updated 11/5/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Samantha S. Crane
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

11/3/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- The month of October highlighted many observances, including Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Prevention and Red Ribbon Week, which aims to educate families on the dangers of drug use.

In an effort to further spread the message of each of these observances, the Integrated Delivery System hosted a Survivors Speak Out breakfast during which people shared their personal experiences.

Debra Mize shared her story first.

"I was 15 when I met the person who almost killed me," she said.

Ms. Mize is an Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional and a survivor of domestic violence.

"What I hope you get from this message today is that you do know someone who needs help. Please, at least if nothing else, know the resources available."

According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, nearly 25 percent of women and 7.6 percent of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, co-habitating partner or acquaintance. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the U.S.

"It's the number one health risk for women in the U.S.," said Ms. Mize. "It's the number one preventable crime."

Enrique Howell, 375th Medical Operations Squadron, Family Advocacy outreach manager, then asked attendants to take a pledge against domestic violence.
"Let's do something," said Mr. Howell. "Not only here at Scott, but in your homes and in the community."

Vicky Burt then shared her breast cancer survival story.

Mrs. Burt is a mother of two and an Air Force spouse. While stationed at Scott in 2009, she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

"Now, 21 months later I'm here, I feel good, I'm happy," she said. "It's all in the attitude. When I was diagnosed, I told my kids. I said we're going to fight this and we're going to be ok."

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of eight women who live to be 80 years old will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It is the leading cause of cancer in women. For every 124 women who are diagnosed, a man is diagnosed.

"Early detection is the key," she said. "Check yourself. Tell your mom, sisters and friends to check themselves."

Jim Vogt, a retired clinical coordinator for mental health and addictions and Army veteran, shared his story of alcohol addiction last.

"I wouldn't wake up, I would come to," he said. "I wouldn't go to sleep, I would pass out."
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, one in 10 youths ages 12 to 17 reported current use of illegal drugs within 30 days of study.

"I didn't know I was an alcoholic," Dr. Vogt said while detailing the problems it caused in his life including an Article 15 while in the Army. "With all the problems I had, no one ever said anything about my drinking. They always just dealt with the surrounding issues."
Dr. Vogt stressed early detection is the key to recovery. Dr. Vogt has been sober for 37 years.

Col. Jill Sterling, 375th Medical Group commander, stressed the importance of courage, compassion and leadership in each of the stories shared.

"Take their message of hope and survival out to the people you impact," she said. "Go and make a difference."

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