April 20, 2015 --
Dozens of men traded in their regular shoes for a pair of 3-inch high red pumps, all for a good cause, April 18 at Deerfield-Windsor Upper Campus Track, Albany, Georgia.
Men from all walks of life, including Marines and Sailors stationed at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, volunteered to support the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event benefitting Lily Pad, a local non-profit organization that supports victims of sexual assault and child abuse.
More than a dozen active-duty personnel ran, walked, limped and wobbled their way to a blistering finish winning first, second and third place as well as best legs categories.
First place winner, Cpl. Jose Colindres, supply technician, Distribution Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, said, “It was a great experience to participate in an event to raise awareness to combat sexual assault. Representing the Marines and Sailors of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, I knew I had to win first place. In the end, every participant was a winner and I am looking forward to defending my trophy next year.”
Second place winner, HM2 Ricky Cuevas, Naval Branch Health Clinic, Albany, participated in the event and said he was there to support the young ladies who (may) have had the unfortunate event of a sexual assault.
"The experience was humbling; to be a man to and to step into the role of how a woman feels even for that short amount of time is humbling," he said.
A Marine who participated said he had fun and will participate in future events like this one.
Sgt. Marcos Noyola, supply administrative clerk, Current Operations Division, LOGCOM, third place winner, said if he had the chance to do it again he would, but the aftermath is taking a toll on his feet.
“It was definitely very painful during and after running in heels, but I couldn't pass it up for a good cause,” Noyola said.
Sporting hot pink pants, Sgt. Greg Rieder, mechanic, Installation and Environment Division, won the best legs category.
Marcus White, sexual assault program coordinator, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, helped spearhead the event in partnership with the Lily Pad.
"I really enjoyed the ‘Walk A Mile in Her Shoes’ event because you really can't understand another victim’s experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes,” he said. “It was not easy walking in those shoes, but walking in Saturday's event provided several opportunities to get people together and talking.”
White added, the walk emphasized three key points for him, prevention, healing and awareness.
“Prevention to help men better understand and appreciate a woman's experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relations and decreased potential for violence; healing, because (the walk) informed the community that services are available for a victim’s recovery; awareness to demonstrate that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place,” he said.