Yongsan Garrison, South Korea- Members of the Eighth Army community gathered at the Dragon Hill Lodge, Yongsan Garrison, to take part in the Drink Responsibly Kick-off hosted by Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Eighth Army Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army, Dec. 15.

"The purpose of this event is to reduce excessive drinking by raising awareness of the dangers of consuming too much alcohol" said Russell Jordan, Army Substance Abuse Program Risk Reduction Program Coordinator. "Alcohol is one of the main enemies Soldiers have to fight against, because it affects their readiness to fight tonight."

For the Drink Responsibly Kick-off, the event organizers had vision impairment goggles that showed the effects of alcohol on the human body and several displays that showed alternatives to drinking alcohol. Additionally, experts from the Army Substance Abuse Program were available for alcohol related counseling.

"For this event, ASAP managers from area one, two and three were invited to explain the dangers of abusive drinking and give support to people who need some counseling," said Master Sgt. Susana Ramos, Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Manager, Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army.

There were several vision impairment goggles with different numbers that represented the range of various blood alcohol content levels. Participants were then asked to walk along a line on the floor while wearing the goggles and try to catch candy thrown by the event organizers.

"It is definitely worse than I thought. This is why I try not to drink more than one beer no matter who I'm with," said Staff Sgt. Dharmendra Ramsumare, Wild Cards Battalion, 2-2 Assault Aviation. "I have a family to support and nobody would want to risk their career for a bottle of beer."

After experiencing the visual effects of the goggles, a majority of participants failed to perform simple tasks and were surprised to realize that drinking affected them so much.

"As we could see from those simple tasks, too much alcohol causes impairment of your brain which makes you not able to function normally," said Jordan. "Therefore, we hope that everyone can have an opportunity to show unified effort to reduce abusive drinking and raise awareness of its dangers from this event."