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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 482-99
October 14, 1999

DOD "RED RIBBON WEEK" TO ENHANCE COMMUNITY DRUG AWARENESS

The Department of Defense (DOD) will host displays and activities commemorating its ninth annual recognition of national "Red Ribbon Week" at the Pentagon in Corridor 2, on the second floor, 18-20 Oct. DoD sponsors a series of Red Ribbon Week activities to focus attention on the destructive effects that drugs have on our nation. This year's theme is "Leading by Example."

On Monday, Oct. 18, at opening ceremonies from 10 to 11 a.m. EST, DoD will kick off Red Ribbon Week activities with a special appearance by 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist and 1999 Olympic Team Trials Gold Medalist Arlene Limas, and 10th Degree Black Belt Grandmaster Jin Pal Kim.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m., Markita Aldridge, a guard for the Washington Mystics Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, will be the featured speaker opening community anti-drug awareness displays. She will discuss this year's national theme of "Leading by Example" as it applies to parents, teachers, coaches, and others who touch the lives of children. Aldridge will make her presentation and view the Services' community drug awareness displays on Corridor 2, second floor of the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m., Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Rudy de Leon will present the ninth annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Awards to Service recipients at a ceremony on Corridor 2, second floor of the Pentagon.

"Red Ribbon Week" was established in 1985 by the Virginia Federation of Parents and the Illinois Drug Education Alliance. The Red Ribbon symbolizes a commitment to reduce the demand for illicit drugs in the community. With the support of anti-drug coalition groups, the Red Ribbon Campaign was established as a national event in 1988. For the last eight years, the Secretary of Defense commemorates Red Ribbon Week to recognize the Department's Community Drug Awareness efforts and to encourage demand reduction outreach activities by the men and women of the Department of Defense. During the three-day event, DoD sponsors displays recognizing the community outreach programs and provides literature describing the various volunteer programs to reduce drug abuse within the community.

For more information, contact Navy Capt. John Jemionek, (703) 693-1917.