Red Ribbon Week to begin
October 21, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson will mark Red Ribbon Week Saturday through Oct. 31 to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in support of the war against drugs and those who commit to living drug-free.
Red Ribbon Week is an annual national drug prevention campaign that encourages Americans to wear red ribbons in memory of U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was kidnapped and tortured to death by members of a Mexican drug cartel in 1985.
Camarena, who was a former Marine, firefighter and police officer, joined the DEA in the 1970s and had become well known in both the United States and Latin America for his successes in busting up drug trafficking bands.
Shortly after Camarena's death, his high school friends and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter launched "Camarena Clubs" in Camarena's hometown of Calexico, Calif., where hundreds of members pledged to lead drug-free lives in his honor.
The pledges were delivered to then-First Lady Nancy Reagan at a national conference focusing on combating youth drug use.
In 1988, Reagan chaired the first National Red Ribbon Week, which was proclaimed by the Congress as an annual campaign that would take place during the last week of October every year.
According to the National Family Partnership, which coordinates Red Ribbon activities nationwide, more than 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon anti-drug events each year.
"... It is very appropriate that women and men of the Fort Jackson community join with other Americans to support the dreams and goals of our children, and to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by Enrique "Kiki" Camarena on our behalf," said Sandra Barnes, prevention coordinator/Employee Assistance Program coordinator for the Army Substance Abuse Program.
The ASAP office, as well as unit prevention leaders, will be giving out red ribbons throughout the week.
Fort Jackson chaplains will distribute red ribbons during Sunday's chapel services.
Red ribbons and giveaways will also be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at a Red Ribbon booth at the Fort Jackson Exchange.
Both Fort Jackson elementary schools will celebrate Red Ribbon Week with various activities geared toward educating students about the importance of committing to living drug free.
"There's nothing positive about using illegal drugs," said Lionel Brown, a DA police officer and lead instructor for the schools' DARE program. "And it takes more than just saying, 'No.' It takes a real commitment."
Brown said he encourages everyone to wear a red ribbon to support the cause.
For more information, contact the ASAP office at 751-5007.
Editor's note: Leader reporter Kris Gonzalez contributed to this report.
Fort Jackson ASAP Red Ribbon Activities:
Sunday: "Faith Day" - Chaplains will distribute red ribbons in service.
Wednesday: A Red Ribbon booth with giveaways will be set up at the Fort Jackson Exchange from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday: "Red Day" - Wear something red and your red ribbon.
Fort Jackson Schools Red Ribbon Activities:
Monday: "Mismatch Day" - Wear mismatched clothing
Tuesday: "Hat Day" - Wear a favorite hat
Wednesday: "Inside-Out Day" - Wear your shirt inside out
Thursday: "Red Day" - Wear something red and your red ribbon
Friday: "Pajamas Day" - Wear your pajamas