2024 Mountain Wellness Month 5K wb.jpg

Hundreds of Fort Drum community members run in the 2nd annual Mountain Wellness Month 5K on April 11. Mountain Wellness Month is a monthlong effort by the Fort Drum Soldier and Family Readiness Division to address sexual harassment, child abuse, and substance dependency, while educating people about autism awareness and financial literacy. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

Fort Drum community members step up
to support Mountain Wellness Month

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 11, 2024) – More than 260 community members participated in a 5K run outside Magrath Sports Complex, April 11, in support of Mountain Wellness Month.

Established in 2019, Mountain Wellness Month is a team effort by the Fort Drum Soldier and Family Readiness Division to raise awareness on five national campaigns:

  • Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
  • Autism Awareness Month
  • Financial Literacy Month

“Mountain Wellness Month is a collaboration of the five program areas to highlight the different campaigns that are happening throughout the month,” said Amanda Mason, Fort Drum Army Substance Abuse Program manager. “So much of what we are trying to highlight in April – with the events, classes and activities – it’s about connecting Soldiers and family members with resources and support.”

Before the 5K run, the 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion command team did their part to promote sexual assault awareness and prevention by signing a proclamation that reaffirms their commitment to combating sexual misconduct in the Army.

“We’re happy to be out here this morning supporting Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Rankin, HHBN commander. “The commanding general’s top priority is building strong teams at all levels, so there’s a focus on how we take care of one another. I think that’s an important part of what this month is all about.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremiah Delrio, HHBN senior enlisted adviser, said the monthlong campaign ties into the division’s Mountain CARES (Critical Assistance with Resources for Environmental Stressors) program, which takes a proactive approach to Soldier risk reduction.

“Mountain CARES is all about building readiness by connecting Soldiers with the resources they need,” he said. “This whole month is pretty awesome because it spreads that awareness. Soldiers can learn and understand about the resources that are available so they can take care of themselves and their families, treat each other with dignity and respect, and get the mission done.”

Pvt. Isiah Garcia, with 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, attended the run with teammates and his family.

“We just wanted have some fun and run with friends,” he said. “This is a very good cause, and we’re happy to support it.”

Community members participated in other Mountain Wellness Month activities, to include a Pop in and Paint class, hosted by the Family Advocacy Program and Exceptional Family Member Program. Additionally, static displays and information booths appear at various locations throughout post to inform and educate the public.

Lorilyn Starr, SFRD chief, said the multifaced campaign aims at addressing sexual harassment, child abuse, and substance dependency, while educating people about autism awareness and financial literacy.

“Prevention and intervention response is best served when agencies move away from stove piped efforts and work together to create a more holistic support network,” she said. “Mountain Wellness Month was established to involve prevention, intervention, and postvention resources across multiple program areas such as SHARP, Family Advocacy Program, Army Substance Abuse Program, Exceptional Family Member Program, and Financial Readiness.”

“The prevention teams have partnered to offer a variety of family-friendly events, community engagement activities, and educational opportunities focusing on life skills, bystander intervention, tips for building strong and healthy families, and strategies for staying safe if you plan on drinking alcohol,” she added.

Upcoming events include the 12th annual Baby Palooza, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 18 at the Post Exchange. The Fort Drum Family Advocacy Program hosts the resource fair for families and expecting parents, with more than 20 community support agencies available to answer questions about their services. The first 100 parents in attendance will receive a gift bag.

For more information about this event, call (315) 772-5914. To learn more about the Fort Drum Soldier and Family Readiness Division and upcoming events, visit www.facebook.com/FortDrumSFRD.