Maryland National Guard Steps Forward with SAPR 5K

  • Published
  • By Airman Alexandra Huettner
  • 175th WG - Maryland Air National Guard

Members of the Maryland National Guard participated in the 175th Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Team’s annual 5K run at Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Maryland, April 3, 2022.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jori Robinson, commander of the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, spoke on the importance of coming together to raise awareness for and support those impacted by sexual assault as she made the opening remarks for the race.

“This year's theme for our SAPR program is step forward; step forward to prevent, to report, and to advocate,” said Robinson. “The theme really is a call to action for everyone to join together and find the strength to come forward and prevent sexual violence and assault. As you get ready to run this 5K I want you all to come together to bolster prevention, increase our reporting, and promise advocacy for a safer community.” 

Airmen and Soldiers ran the race in support of survivors, as well as those impacted by sexual assault. The first place runner for women, U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Alexis Eyo ran the race to show support for the cause.

“We’re raising awareness for an important cause,” said Eyo, Airman assigned to the 275th Operations Support Squadron. “I think it’s a good opportunity to show support to those who have been affected and to do something with our Army counterparts that we don’t normally have the opportunity to do.”

The Maryland Army and Air National Guard have worked together for COVID-19 missions over the last few years, but the SAPR 5K allowed an opportunity for both sides to come together outside of a mission setting and support an important cause. The second place runner for women, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Emily Wagener ran the race to raise awareness for sexual assault survivors.

“It’s important for me as a leader in the Maryland Army National Guard to show up and shed light on a subject that doesn’t get talked about often enough,” said Wagener, Soldier assigned to the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment. “It’s important for us to come out here, show up, and be there for each other to raise awareness for something that really matters.”

Other winners included first place winner for men, A1C Joshua Sanchez assigned to the 275th Cyberspace Operations Squadron and second place winner for men, U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Joe Schuman assigned to the 175th Force Support Squadron. The SAPR Team’s annual 5K raised awareness and continues to raise awareness and show support for the many people who have survived and been impacted by sexual assault.