LRAFB civilian named AMC’s SARC of the year

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  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Linda Benjamin, Little Rock Air Force Base’s sexual assault response coordinator, has been named Air Mobility Command’s SARC of the year for 2021. Her program stood out for its emphasis on outreach, visibility and vital support to victims of sexual assault.

Benjamin said she was “grateful and humbled” by the AMC-level honor.

“I love that I have a job that allows me to make a positive impact in peoples’ lives daily,” Benjamin said. “The issues that we deal with are hard, but to see someone come out of a horrible situation a survivor is all worth it.”

While the SARC is charged with championing programs that are geared toward awareness and prevention, the heart of the SARC's mission is victim assistance and advocacy. Benjamin said she has taken this to heart and kept it at the core of her philosophy on conducting a superior program.

“I want people to know that they are not alone in this, and help is always just a phone call away,” she said. “My hope is that SAPR [sexual assault and prevention response] gives people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and provide the platform to change our culture’s approach to seeking help.”

Benjamin became the SARC in 2016; however, she has been a member of the installation’s SAPR program since 2005. Her longevity, experience, and knowledge have provided the needed stability and continuity of the program.

When asked about advancements of the program during her tenure, Benjamin noted that one of the most impactful improvements was the addition of the Victim’s Counsel.

“Victims can request their very own attorney to help them navigate the legal process during a very difficult time,” Benjamin said. “Another is the expedited transfer program allowing victims to request a transfer to an installation closer to their support system without having them leave the military.”

Although the SARC is ultimately the individual responsible for spearheading the SAPR program, Benjamin said that it’s her volunteer victim advocates, or VVAs, that provide creditability to the program.

“They [the VVAs] keep the pulse of the program and provide much needed guidance and support to their peers and leadership,” she said. “Our program is very fortunate to have a great group of volunteer advocates working beside us each and every day.”

Throughout 2021, there were several examples of innovative successes for the LRAFB program to include being chosen as one of only two AMC installations to roll-out virtual reality SAPR training, which enabled 236 members to engage in the VR-based training resulting in a 240% increase in engagement.

Benjamin also enhanced a sense of community and connectedness spurring the recovery phase for survivors. Seeking to overcome the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic, she established weekly video conference meeting so no Airmen was left to feel isolated or forgotten.

She added that one of the most memorable achievements from 2021 was the development of their “Shades of Healing” mural room.

“It [the room] gives those visiting an inside peek into the work that we do and the strength it takes for people to go from victim to survivor to thriver,” she said. “We are finally getting back together after COVID, and it just feels so good to reconnect with people.”

Moving forward, Benjamin continues to explore new and innovative ideas to keep the SAPR message fresh in people’s hearts and minds. She added she is a proud member of the Black Knight family, and is thankful for the support she’s received from across the installation.

“I am incredibly thankful for a leadership team that supports the work we do,” she said.

For more information on the SAPR program, visit