Fort Campbell is blazing trails to rid its ranks of violence in
the home with a first-time written agreement between post and area
The Memorandum of Understanding for the Military/Civilian
Coordinated Community Response Demonstration was signed Tuesday by
more than 40 agencies that deal with domestic violence in Montgomery
County, Fort Campbell and Christian County, Ky.
Fort Campbell is the first Army post to go through this program,
which is coordinated for military installations through the National
Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Austin, Texas. The pilot
project is administered under the federal 1994 Violence Against
The agreement's goal is to unite agencies to lessen destructive
behavior within families. In January 2006, the group will submit a
grant application for federal money from the U.S. Department of
Domestic violence is a difficult problem for Fort Campbell
because, according to the Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control
Law of 1968, anyone convicted of domestic assault is prohibited from
having or using firearms.
Because every soldier is issued a rifle or pistol, a domestic
assault conviction ends the soldier's days as a fighter in the Army.
The Army must contend with a balance of protecting the victim while
not ruining the soldier's career.
Three soldiers at Fort Campbell, each assigned to units other
than the 101st Airborne Division, are affected by the Lautenberg
law, according to post officials.
"Although the vast majority of our soldiers and citizens have
never been involved in such violence, even one such event can
forever scar an entire community, destroy a family and impact on our
unit readiness," said post and division commander Maj. Gen. Thomas
R. Turner, who signed the memorandum. "It is important to note that
this is not the first chapter in our effort to help couples work
through the friction and problems that sometimes result in violence
Debby Tucker, executive director of the National Center on
Domestic and Sexual Violence, thanked the more than 60 people inside
the Eagle Conference Room for their commitment to ending domestic
"You're blazing new ground, and we're setting the blueprint,"
The agencies will meet in May for a two-day fact-finding session
to determine what works and what doesn't within the system. From
looking at the causes of violence to putting violators in jail,
everyone has a part to play to make it as fair as possible.
Pat Mock, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Clarksville,
said the signing demonstrated a commitment by Fort Campbell.
"It's extremely exciting to bring attention to this area," said
Mock, whose office handles 95 percent of Montgomery and surrounding
counties' orders of protection. "All of the partners have a special
perspective. My perspective is representing victims. Hopefully, in
doing that we can get a sense of the big picture."
Legal Aid attorney Kendra Mansur said nearly one-third of her
order-of-protection cases involve military families. She said the
most difficult part of her job is getting people to recognize that
domestic violence is wrong.
"Historically, women at one time were treated as property,"
Mansur said. "We need to (understand) that hitting, assaulting or
hurting someone is a crime."
Chantal Escotocovers military affairs and can be
reached at 245-0216 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Originally published April 13, 2005