The Department of Defense will showcase its anti-drug awareness and educational activities throughout America during the 15th annual "Red Ribbon Week" at the Pentagon, Oct. 24-26 to focus attention on the destructive effects drugs have on the nation.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Thomas W. OConnell will host the opening ceremony for Red Ribbon Week Monday, Oct. 24, at 11 a.m. EDT on the Pentagon Concourse.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Ambassador Eric S. Edelman will present the 15th annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Awards to units and installations within each of the military services, as well as present the fifth annual Fulcrum Shield award to the most deserving military-affiliated youth organization.
Guest speakers include Geneva (Mika) Camarena, Enrique (Kiki) Camarena Jr. and Chelsea Cooley Miss USA 2005.
Various defense agencies will have anti-drug displays on the Pentagon Concourse from Monday, Oct. 24, through Wednesday, Oct. 26, including a drug detection demonstration by Ohio State Trooper Stacey Arnold and K-9 Officer Ringo Tuesday Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.
Since 1990, the Secretary of Defense has recognized Red Ribbon Week to acknowledge the department's community drug awareness efforts. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Red Ribbon Week, dating 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.