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(Enlarge) Col. Edward C. Rothstein, Garrison Commander

October will be another busy month for Fort Meade with several significant observances.

It is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an annual observance that generates awareness of domestic violence as a serious public health issue and the resources available to address it.

Let's pledge to use this month to review the services that our Team Meade community and the DoD Family Advocacy Programs provide to our service members and their families, helping them build healthy relationship skills.

As a community focused on wellness and resiliency, we must embrace a comprehensive approach to the prevention of domestic abuse and violence. We also must seek out ways to ensure that service members and their families have ample opportunity to prepare for challenges that can occur in relationships. Domestic violence is never a solution, and cannot and will not be tolerated.

There are FAP seminars and workshops each month that are designed to help people enhance marital relationships, parenting skills and financial management skills and improve quality of life. These are for targeted for the entire community. I challenge you to take advantage of them!

Counseling and intervention services are available to individuals, couples, units and family readiness groups. Our partner commanders are also encouraged to contact their Family Advocacy staff to schedule seminars that meet their specific needs. I am determined to put in your hands my resources, which are dedicated to support our entire community.

Visit the Family Advocacy Program at ftmeademwr.com/acs/family_advocacy.php or call 301-677-4117 for more information.

I know that our community programs are dedicated to educating and supporting service members, families and our community. Let's all be courageous and take a stand against domestic violence.

As Team Meade, we must work together as a true team to protect victims and hold offenders accountable when abuse occurs.

October is also Hispanic Heritage Month.

Today, the Fort Meade community is invited to attend the installation's annual observance from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center. The event is sponsored by the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing.

Nelson Diaz is our guest speaker. Diaz is a lawyer who has been a Philadelphia city solicitor, a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and general counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Diaz founded the first organization devoted to black and Hispanic law students at Temple University while he was a student there.

I'm sure his remarks will be inspirational and help us celebrate the long and important presence and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States.

Hispanic Americans have gallantly served our nation. Their service reflects a genuine commitment to the principles of freedom and democracy from the American Revolution to our most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we join the nation in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of Hispanic service members and their commitment to service.

Next week, I'll share my thoughts about the installation's celebration of Energy Awareness Month (another October observance) and focus our efforts on another important effort - the annual Combined Federal Campaign.

I'll sign off with a safety message as we celebrate a long weekend in honor of Columbus Day. Enjoy the long weekend with friends and family and take advantage of our great Team Meade community.

Let's continue to make good decisions this fall. Stay focused on safety.

Have a great week!

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