FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Under the boom of artillery, Fort Bragg became part of another fight Oct. 18. More than 400 Shughart Middle School students, staff and community supporters completed a two-mile walk to raise breast cancer awareness. The walk which began at the school, was routed through the Linden Oaks subdivision and ended in the front of the campus on Camel Road.
Walkers were asked to pay $2 or to donate any amount to participate, said Dawn Fields, school counselor. The more than $500 raised will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization dedicated to funding research for a cure to breast cancer.
The walk was significant because Shugart staffers want students to “understand the importance of being involved and giving back to their community,” Fields said.
Damien Smith, 12, was joined by his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Smith, of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and his sister, Piper, six months, whom Jennifer pushed in a stroller.
The Smith Family participated in support of Jennifer’s mother, Lorene Coleman, who lost her battle with breast cancer at age 39.
“I have issues with breast cancer, so it’s very important to me to come and support in memory of my mom and other Family members who passed from cancer,” Jennifer said.
I’m happy to support the breast cancer walk and to represent my grandmother, Damien added.
“It’s nice to show that we care,” said Logan Chilson, 12, whose Family also walked to support a grandmother recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Shughart Middle School makes a concerted effort to recognize the fight against breast cancer.
This year, students have been wearing pink each Friday during the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), said Fields. The school invited other Fort Bragg communities and schools to join the walk.
Pfc. Jeffrey Marrero, of the 65th Military Police Company, provided security support and seemed to appreciate the effort to raise awareness.
It shows that the military not only has the time, but also community support in its outreach efforts.
The fight for the cure to breast cancer is one that continues, but walking is a way to give hope to those affected by a diagnosis.
“People should do it (walk) more often to show people with cancer that they can overcome cancer,” Damien said.
Tina Ray, Paraglide