SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --
Hundreds of pinwheels planted in the ground with their vanes twirling in the wind can be spotted all around the city of Goldsboro and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. They are a symbol to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Members of Seymour Johnson AFB partnered with the city of Goldsboro to participate in a proclamation ceremony in honor of the month at City Hall in Goldsboro, North Carolina, April 4, 2017.
During the proclamation ceremony, Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen read the Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation and the Month of the Military Child Proclamation aloud. Children from the base and local community showed their support by reading poems and singing songs.
Col. Erik Jenkins, 916th Air Refueling Wing commander, spoke on behalf of the base. He talked about Seymour Johnson AFB, its partnership with the community and the importance of raising awareness for child abuse prevention.
“Officials recognize the need to support the community, especially our youth,” said Jenkins. “At Seymour Johnson, we team with our child abuse prevention services to make our community better. During child abuse prevention month our objective is to foster cognitive and social learning experiences to promote, support and contribute to the resilience in parents and children from our community.”
Larry Pierce, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department sheriff, said that both the proclamation and pinwheels aim to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.
“As we travel throughout the city, we see the little pinwheels blowing in the breeze and we are reminded that these pinwheels represent fragile little lives,” said Pierce. “Just like the pinwheels, those lives can be blown over or even destroyed if a large enough force blows against them. My office investigated 80 cases of child abuse last year.”
The 4th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy Program hosted a pinwheel parade at the 4th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center. Jenkins led children from the 4th FSS CDC during the parade. They marched with pinwheels, kazoos, maracas and various other musical instruments. After the parade, the children planted their pinwheels along the perimeter of the CDC playground to continue the theme of raising awareness throughout the base.
“The pinwheel represents the bright future all children deserve,” said Jerome L. Ellis, 4th MDOS family advocacy outreach manager. “It represents our hope that all of the children in our community have the stable, loving relationships they need to become successful adults who contribute to our community.”
Seymour Johnson AFB has several events planned throughout the month in support of both child abuse prevention and the Month of the Military Child. One of the events is a Month of the Military Child country western themed day of celebration on April 29, 2017 at the youth center.
For more information visit the 4th Force Support Squadron website at sjfss.com.