Going the distance: Lap-A-Loop logs support for SHARP

Nearly 100 people take off for the 2018 Lap-A-Loop on April 12 at the Gaffney 400-meter track in support of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. (Photo by Derrick Shine)

By Operations Division, 902nd Military Intelligence Group

More than 96 participants from across Fort Meade joined together to walk and run in the 3rd Annual Lap-A-Loop on April 12.

The event was held in support of the victims of sexual violence and the Army’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Sponsored by the 902d Military Intelligence Group, the event posed the question: “How far will you go to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, and reprisal?”

Prior to the event, Lt. Col. Ammilee Oliva, deputy commander, welcomed the teams and spoke about the importance of events such as Lap-A-Loop to raise awareness, and the significant impact that sexual harassment, assault, and fear of reprisal can have on an individual and the Army.

Participants walked the Gaffney Fitness Center’s 400-meter track over the course of 90 minutes. Each lap completed counted for the individual’s team.

By the event’s end, participants walked a total of 1,867 laps equaling 467 miles.

The 310th MI Battalion team completed the greatest total distance with 824 laps, or 206 miles.

Robert Eberhart of the 310th MI took first place for individuals with a 46 laps, or 11.5 miles.

This year’s SAAPM theme, “Shaping a Culture of Trust,” is aimed at working to stop sexual harassment and assault in the Army — an issue that the Army has been fighting for years.

“The 902d MI Group embraces this message,” said Gerald W. Meineke Jr., the 902d MI’s sexual assault response coordinator. “Our unit is built on the bedrock of trust, with dignity and respect as the cornerstone of our unit.

“By living the Army values, we are holding ourselves and others accountable.”

The amount of effort invested in this year’s Lap-A-Loop reflects the significant journey for all those affected by sexual assault and harassment. The path is best walked not alone, but with the support of friends and family.

“Lap-a-Loop brings people of all abilities and ages together to challenge themselves physically for the common cause of showing commitment to the SHARP program,” Oliva said of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program.

“We saw everything from women in dress shoes to a man with a cane healing from a recent surgery.”

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