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Maj. Gen. James Lukeman, Training and Education Command commanding general, starts a one-mile walk/run with TECOM Marines and civilian employees at Butler Stadium aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico June 8. The event was part of TECOM's first annual Health and Wellness Week, which ran June 6-June 10.

Photo by Adele Uphaus-Conner

TECOM dedicates a week to getting healthier

28 Jun 2016 | Adele Uphaus-Conner Marine Corps Base Quantico

Training and Education Command (TECOM) aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico sponsored its first workplace Health and Wellness Week June 6-10. Ronnette Parks, TECOM branch head for Civilian Workforce Development and Training (CWDT) said, “This is something civilians and Marines can do together. This is an ‘us’ program. We can all get some ideas for work and home changes we can make to create better health.”

The Health and Wellness week was organized by TECOM G-1‘s Terra Eidinger and Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill to encourage unit cohesion and promote healthy lifestyles. The week’s events included half-hour presentations on topics related to mental and physical health; free bone density, blood pressure, and body composition screenings; and a unit walk/run opened by Maj. Gen. James Lukeman, TECOM commanding general. TECOM employees could sample ergonomic chairs and standing desks—the latter are available at ServMart and do not require employees to have a disability qualifying them for reasonable accommodation—and pick up healthy dinner recipes and information on heart health.

Gunnery Sgt. William Norris was one of 54 Marines and civilians who attended the health screenings in TECOM’s Daly Hall on June 7. “When they bring these kinds of screenings right to you, there’s no reason not to do it,” Norris said. “I want to do anything I can do to up my knowledge base.”

Norris said he was surprised by the result of his bone density screen, for which Navy nurse educator Nancy Walker used a bone densitometer to take an ultrasound image of his heel bone. The heel is measured because its bone is similar to the one in the hip where most fractures occur. Norris’s screen indicated that he was at risk for osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis.

“She got on me for my tobacco use and drinking sodas,” Norris said. Smoking and refined sugars both deplete calcium in the body and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

“It seems like nothing is good for you but water and food you grow in the earth,” Norris joked. TECOM’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. James Lukeman, participated in Health and Wellness week by joining the command’s Marines and civilians in a one-mile walk/run around the track at Butler Stadium June 8. Prizes of miniature vegetable gardens were given to the first five runners and first four walkers to complete the one-mile loop.

“It’s great to have the civilian and military team come together for something,” Lukeman said. “Marines PT [physical train] all the time, but it’s solitary. It’s nice to do something together.”

“We’ve gotta do something to stay healthy and fit no matter what age we are,” he continued. “I like to still think of myself as 25, 35, even 45, but I’m not, so where are my walkers? I’ll be sticking with you!”

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