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CAP members to mark Red Ribbon Week

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NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS — Members of Civil Air Patrol will promote healthy, drug-free lifestyles Oct. 23-31 during Red Ribbon Week.

The oldest, largest drug prevention campaign in the U.S., Red Ribbon Week is observed across America. This year’s theme is “It’s Up To Me To Be Drug Free!”

Throughout the week, CAP wings will distribute red ribbons with the slogan “Better Things To Do Than Drugs” and conduct educational programs as a way to show support for a drug-free lifestyle. Using the new Red Ribbon Leadership Academy curriculum, CAP cadets also will visit schools to speak out against drug use and share leadership lessons with local middle school students.

The U.S. Air Force and Civil Air Patrol became involved with Red Ribbon Week in 1994 as a way to improve the lives of service members’ families and children. CAP has since expanded its role to include a year-round drug demand reduction program with three major elements – education, training and community outreach. Each element is designed to bring an anti-drug message to the community, students throughout the nation and CAP members.

The origins of Red Ribbon Week date back 26 years to a local effort in Imperial Valley, Calif., to honor the memory of former resident Enrique Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent slain in March 1985 in Mexico. Members of Camarena Clubs began wearing red ribbons in the slain agent’s memory. In 1988, Congress proclaimed the final week of October as “Red Ribbon Week for a Drug-Free America.”

Red Ribbon Week has since grown to be the nation’s best-known drug prevention program. Participants annually include schools, businesses, government, military, service organizations, law enforcement, religious institutions, adults and youth who wear the red ribbon to show their support for the campaign.

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Written by Iowa Wing CAP

October 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

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