Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Jiang
PACIFIC OCEAN – More than 360 Sailors participated in a 5K fun run to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) on the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), May 3.
Jonathan Ciecko, Stennis’ fitness director, and Lt. j.g. Demetrius Johnson, an aviator and SAPR representative for Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, worked together to put on the run.
The event was originally expected to take place in April in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but was postponed due to operational scheduling conflicts.
“It wasn’t easy with flight ops and … the ship was doing a lot of evolutions,” said Ciecko. “We wanted to make sure the air wing can participate as well as ship’s company.
Despite initial troubles getting the event off the ground the event was considered a success.
“It was a great turnout,” said Johnson, “Everybody had fun. I thought it was well organized.”
Johnson reminded the participants before the event started of the cause they were running for that day. Sailors then ran eight laps around a marked path from one end of the flight deck to the next.
“It was great to get the crew out here on the flight deck, and it’s for a good cause,” said run participant, Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Brenton Blakeslee, from Mayville, N.Y. “It’s the best scenery in the world. Not everyone gets to run on the flight deck in the middle of the ocean.”
In addition to raising awareness for SAPR, the run was a good opportunity for Sailors to get some exercise.
“It’s a great way for people to get out and practice for the physical readiness test,” said Ciecko. “Just get people active.”
Ciecko is looking forward to getting more input from Sailors for future events.