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Release No: 1059-04
October 22, 2004

DoD Red Ribbon Week Enhancing Anti-Drug Awareness

The Department of Defense will showcase its anti-drug awareness and educational activities throughout America during the 14th annual "Red Ribbon Week" at the Pentagon, Oct. 25-27 to focus attention on the destructive effects drugs have on our nation.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics MaryBeth Long will host the opening ceremony for Red Ribbon Week Monday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. EDT on the Pentagon Concourse.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Thomas W. OConnell will present the 14th annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Awards to units and installations within each of the military Services, as well as present the fourth annual Fulcrum Shield award to the most deserving military-affiliated youth organization.

Guest speakers include retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey and Miss USA 2004, Shandi Finnessey.

Since 1990, the Secretary of Defense has recognized Red Ribbon Week to acknowledge the department's community drug awareness efforts. Various agencies will have displays on the Pentagon Concourse highlighting anti-drug outreach efforts in the defense community.

The history of Red Ribbon Week dates back to 1985, when Special Agent Enrique S. "Kiki" Camarena of the Drug Enforcement Administration was kidnapped in Guadalajara, Mexico, and killed by drug traffickers. Shortly after Camarena's death, citizens from his hometown of Calexico, Calif., began to wear red ribbons to remember him and to commemorate his sacrifice. Red Ribbon Week was formalized in 1988.

For further information, contact Maj. Paul Swiergosz at (703) 697-5332.

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