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Motorcycle riders from Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 pull into the Joshua Tree Unity Home during the Family Advocacy Program’s second annual Domestic Violence Awareness Poker Run Style Motorcycle Ride, Oct. 30, 2015. The riders learned how the Unity Home helps people who have suffered from domestic violence. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

Combat Center Community learns through motorcycle ride

4 Nov 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd 10th Marine Regiment

The Family Advocacy Program held its second annual Domestic Violence Awareness Poker Run Style Motorcycle Ride, Oct. 30, 2015.

Approximately 45 riders participated in the event by riding through the community to raise awareness of domestic violence, as well as to inform participants of various services that can be utilized to prevent domestic violence aboard the Combat Center and surrounding community.

“The ride took groups of riders to five locations,” said Michele Godfrey, prevention education specialist, FAP. “At each location, the riders received a playing card with a fact about domestic violence on it.”

The riders received their first card at the Protestant Chapel aboard the base before splitting into five different groups that traveled from the Combat Center to three locations within the hi-desert. In any order they chose, the riders were given the opportunity to go to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the Joshua Tree Unity Home and Luckie Park.

“At each location, the riders learned about what is done to help prevent and handle cases of domestic violence aboard the Combat Center,” Godfrey said. “We wanted the riders to have a good time while learning about domestic violence.”

While at the various locations the riders learned about what the different resources that could help someone suffering from domestic violence. At the sheriff’s office, the riders learned about how the district attorney handles these cases as well as information about how the jailing system works. While at the Unity Home, they were informed about why the program was created and how it helps people suffering from domestic violence.

The riders also traveled to Luckie Park where they learned how the Provost Marshal’s Office helps handle domestic violence cases aboard the base. The riders obtained their last card at the Lincoln Military Housing Sports Field, where they received the prizes for the highest and lowest hand created throughout the ride.

“Getting together for a ride with the community shows our camaraderie and brings us together,” said Cpl. Dustin Fitzgerald, bulk fuel specialist, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374. “I learned a lot from this ride and hope to have the opportunity to participate in another one.”

The participants were encouraged to take the information they had learned and inform the rest of their units about the resources available for people who are suffering from domestic violence.

“Educating the Marines and sailors will give them the tools they need to help prevent domestic violence in their homes and in the homes of their neighbors,” Godfrey said. “This ride is a fun way to teach them those tools.”

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