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'A Marine's Story' highlights importance of preventing sexual assault

  • Published
  • By 412th Test Wing Public Affairs
Team Edwards gathered in the Base Theater Aug. 10 to hear Mary Lauterbach tell her daughter's story about the tragic consequences of sexual assault.

"A Marine's Story," as told by the courageous mother, detailed the circumstances surrounding the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was brutally murdered in 2007, at the age of 20 by a fellow Marine.

Not only did Lauterbach's story remind the Edwards community that sexual assaults don't just happen outside the gates of military installations, it emphasized just how important it is to take action and ultimately what can happen when you fail to do so.

According to Lauterbach, she tells the story because she wants to change the mentality about sexual assault, throughout the military.

"This is the one crime where the victim has to prove their innocence," said Lauterbach. "Eyes need to be opened. I'll do whatever it takes to change that culture."

Not passing judgment was one of Lauterbach's key messages throughout "A Marine's Story."

"Often times people are blindsided by opinions of predators or their victims. Perfect victims get preyed upon," said Lauterbach. "And that was the case with Maria."

Lauterbach was referring to her daughter's role as what she describes as "the perfect victim."

Before Maria came forward as a sexual assault victim, she was caught stealing $30 from a slush fund at work. In "A Marine's Story," her mother describes it as the most expensive $30 of her life.

When Maria stepped forward, her leadership failed to take action. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service failed to take action. On paper, the Marine who assaulted her was flawless.

Assumptions and opinions of those surrounding Maria and their failure forced her to pay the ultimate price.

"If a victim comes forward, use compassion and don't leap to judgment," said Lauterbach. "In all things use compassion. The Marines have been so wonderful and supportive. It's wonderful to see them understand and actively want to change the culture. These guys get it."

By continuing to tell Maria's story, Lauterbach hopes to create awareness, prevent future assaults and encourage victims to step forward.

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.