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Commands Receive Drug Awareness Awards

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 1997 – Five military commands received recognition for actions in helping combat drugs.

Jan Lodal, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, presented the annual Drug Awareness Awards at the Pentagon Oct. 28.

The Army Reserve 63rd Regional Support Command of Los Alamitos, Calif., won for its Youth Demand Reduction Program. It began in 1994 as a DoD pilot outreach program and continues as a voluntary undertaking of the 63rd. The program's wide variety of activities support schools and other community groups.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., won for its Community Substance Abuse Outreach Program. The program was cited for linking efforts of the military community, DoD civilians and local community resources to reduce drug abuse at Pendleton and neighboring communities.

The Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center in New Orleans took home honors for its Campaign Drug Free. A voluntary community education program, the campaign emphasizes the dangers of youth drug use and the need for a drug-free society. Navy and Marine Corps volunteers work with area schools and youth groups, presenting themselves as examples of a drug-free lifestyle and offering information and insight to encourage young people to remain drug-free.

The St. Clair County Youth Mentoring Program run by Scott Air Force Base, Ill., took home honors for drug demand reduction. Working with the county school's Drug Education Project, the program matches youth with volunteer mentors based on the youth's needs. More than 100 mentors have been trained. Their enthusiasm has attracted many more active duty volunteers, the award citation said.

The Florida National Guard won for its High School Classroom Drug Awareness Program. The program supports the No. 1 goal of the President's 1997 National Drug Control Strategy: to educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs. The program began in 1993 at 10 Florida schools. Today, National Guard members teach a five-hour curriculum that reaches 30,000 students annually in 170 schools throughout the state.

The annual awards recognize outstanding command efforts to educate service members, their families and their communities to the dangers of drug abuse and to the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle.

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