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Men at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni can tap into the wisdom of others with more life experience through a new male mentoring program called Choices.

Patterned after a Choices for women that was started in November 2004, the program assists young servicemembers in making better decisions through mentoring. They say senior role models and professionals willing to share their knowledge are key to the program’s success.

Master Sgt. Diane Rowe, Iwakuni’s Equal Employment Opportunity adviser, was instrumental in starting the women’s program as well as the new male version.

Young men learn from older men, she said, “and for those offering information as mentors, this is truly a way of giving back.”

The first Choices meeting for men took place Aug. 15, and served as an introduction. Rowe said 36 people attended.

“We hope to do much more than create better Marines and sailors,” said Gunnery Sgt. Stephen Garcia, who with Rowe’s help took the lead in organizing the men’s program. “We’ll strive to create better adults, mature individuals, husbands and fathers. We want to shape good men.”

He said topics for upcoming monthly meetings include drug and alcohol abuse, fitness, nutrition, steroid use, healthy dating, date rape and personal finance.

“These young men, as well as our women, need to have an avenue for talking about such things without worrying about someone taking notes and writing down their names,” Rowe said.

The topic for the next Choices meeting for men will be personal finance. The meeting is scheduled Sept. 15 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Yujo Hall, attached to the Station Chapel. Lunch will be provided.

For more information about the men’s program, contact Garcia at DSN 253-5143 or garcias@iwakuni.usmc.mil. Rowe can be reached at DSN 253-4186 or rowede@iwakuni.usmc.mil.

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