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Pink class: Candidates dedicate themselves to awareness

Kathryn Cobb, breast cancer survivor, and CW3 Robert Gordon, 1st WOC company executive officer, put the outstanding sign streamer on the 1st WOC Class 14-25 flag Sept. 19. The class is going pink to benefit breast cancer awareness efforts. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Kathryn Cobb, breast cancer survivor, and CW3 Robert Gordon, 1st WOC company executive officer, put the outstanding sign streamer on the 1st WOC Class 14-25 flag Sept. 19. The class is going pink to benefit breast cancer awareness efforts. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Warrant officer candidates of 1st WOC Class 14-25 unveil their class sign in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to become the first Pink Class Sept. 19. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Warrant officer candidates of 1st WOC Class 14-25 unveil their class sign in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to become the first Pink Class Sept. 19. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: September 25, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 25, 2014) -- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women, but one group of Soldiers on Fort Rucker is taking on the fight against it head on.

Warrant officer candidates of 1st Warrant Officer Company Class 14-25 dedicated themselves to raising funds to battle breast cancer with their Sign and Song as they unveiled their class sign and performed their song for their senior mentor Sept. 19 to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

Each WOC class donates to a different foundation or organization, and in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed in October, Class 14-25 decided to bring some of that awareness to Fort Rucker, said CW3 Jason Smith, Training, Advising and Counseling officer for 1st WOC.

“Today marks a historic day in the 1st Warrant Officer Company’s history,” he said. “We’re the first ever Pink Class. Several candidates in our class have Family members who were affected by breast cancer, so we are doing this to not only bring awareness, but also to pay homage to those individuals who were lost to breast cancer, as well as those who have overcome.”

The sign that was unveiled was created from scratch by the warrant officer candidates and reads, “No one fights alone, sir!” and was dedicated to Kathryn Cobb, a breast cancer survivor and spouse of a TAC officer.

Cobb has been a breast cancer survivor for 10 years and she said the attention was overwhelming.

“It’s pretty amazing. I’ve never gotten this much attention before and I keep telling people that all I did was get sick,” she said. “I’m glad they did this. It’s for a great cause.”

Overcoming breast cancer is no easy task and takes a lot of strength, said Cobb, so it’s fitting that Class 14-25 brings awareness to the disease.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’m proud to say that I beat it,” she added.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and each year an estimated 220,000 women in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with the disease and 40,000 will die.

Although breast cancer in men is rare, it’s estimated that more than 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, with approximately 410 dying to the disease each year, according to the foundation’s website.

Because of those statistics, Smith said it’s important to bring awareness to issues like breast cancer, which is just one way that 1st WOC can give back.

“Doing something like this is just something we do to give back to the community as a whole,” he said. “This community does so much for the U.S. military, and Fort Rucker specifically, so this is just a small token of appreciation for what they do for the Soldiers who come through this installation.”

After the unveiling of the sign, the warrant officer candidates marched to the dining facility, clad in their pink breast cancer awareness T-shirts, and performed a song for their command team before sitting down for lunch.

The class’ awareness efforts won’t stop there, though.

The class will host the Breast Cancer Awareness Fitness Challenge at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to noon where participants can take part in fitness challenges, including Strong Bodies, Zumba, Yoga and Ab Lab. The challenge is on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the fitness challenge, there will be a car wash Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to noon in the WOC area to raise donations for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which will receive 100 percent of the proceeds. Also, the WOC will host a breast cancer awareness run, led by Class 14-25, in front of 1st WOC Oct. 7 beginning at 6 a.m.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/134528/

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