Sgt. 1st Class Kindra Elder in uniform

Photo by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Sgt. 1st Class Kindra Elder, sexual assault response coordinator for the 73rd Troop Command, stands for a photo April 15, 2021, at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. The SARC serves as the single point of contact to coordinate sexual assault victim care for service members following an incident.

Longtime victim advocate answers calling to help her fellow Soldiers

Story by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (04/29/21)

Ohio Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Kindra Elder has a passion for helping others. Elder has been fulfilling that for the last 15 years as the 73rd Troop Command’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) program victim advocate and, more recently, sexual assault response coordinator.

“I try to listen, be there for them, make sure they feel safe, and get them the resources they need,” Elder said.

“I try to listen, be there for them, make sure they feel safe, and get them the resources they need.”

Those resources can come from military or civilian organizations, to include counseling and legal services. Since she first started in 2006, Elder said she has seen the SAPR program evolve to a strongly supportive environment for victims to come forward for help.

“The climate is changing. We talk about sexual assault more, and commanders are more supportive and encouraging Soldiers to take care of themselves. I think that makes Soldiers more comfortable coming forward,” Elder said. It also helps that Elder, and others like her, have volunteered to be trained and ready to help.

“Her compass is sharply pointed to the health and welfare of the Soldiers in her brigade. No other Soldier provides their leadership with a higher level of knowledge, attention and support with regard to prevention of, and response to, sexual assault,” said Kyle Davidson, state SAPR victim advocate.

Elder hopes more Guard members, including senior enlisted members, will see the value of becoming advocates.

“I love doing this, but we need more volunteers. It’s not easy handling these cases, but it also can be rewarding because you’re helping someone. You’re helping them work through something they don’t know how to move forward with, and you’re able to help assist them with their journey,” she said.

Elder has been answering the call to help her fellow Soldiers with their journeys for a decade and a half, while also working toward the goal of eliminating sexual assault from among the force.


Photo of Staff Sgt. Heather Stoffer in uniform

Airman Serves as Victim Advocate

Staff Sgt. Heather Stoffer, who serves as a victim advocate with the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, said being there for the victim is the most important part and even the simple act of just listening to their story can be impactful. “Being there for them after they have to tell their story is really important because, for the most part, not many people around them know what is going on,” she said.


Staff Sgt. Jan Almasy poses at projector prompt in his office.

Airman Serves His Wingmen Through Victim Advocacy

Staff Sgt. Jan Almasy, who serves as a victim advocate with the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, said he has always had a natural inclination for helping people. “A victim advocate is somebody who is a voice to those who have lost their voice,” he said. “That’s probably the best way I can describe it. We are a support system for people who have encountered a situation that has taken away their voice.”


Female in Airman camo holds up teal ribbon for Sexual Assault Awareness in her office

Airman Supports Wingmen Through Victim Advocacy

Master Sergeant Lyndsy Bringman has been a victim advocate for the past 10 years, providing support and guidance to survivors who have experienced sexual trauma. She said ensuring that service members receive proper mental, physical and emotional care following a traumatic event is essential to maintaining unit readiness as well as a positive culture and climate.