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Hawaii Marines Take Drug Awareness Message To Big Island School
By Lance Cpl. Iain A. Schnaible
MCB Hawaii

HILO, Hi(Dec. 8, 2000) — Students at Waiakea High School here had an eventful morning Friday when a United States Marine Corps CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter landed on the school's field carrying a load of Marines and Sailors from MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.

The Marines visited Waiakea as a part of the Community Drug Awareness Program, which is aimed at guiding students away from drugs and encouraging them to stay in school.

The students ringed the area surrounding the field and watched as the CH-53 made its descent. Marines and Sailors hurried out the back ramp when the bird landed and immediately began to set up their informational booths.

picture of High School sophomore struggles for one more pullup
Rio Cole, a Waiakea High School sophomore, struggles for one more pull up during the Community Drug Awareness Program Dec. 8.
( Photo by: Lance Cpl. Iain A. Schnaible)

The booths run by the servicemembers included educational booths on the topics of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare countermeasures, first aid, physical training and crime prevention. All of the displays had overlying tones of resisting drug abuse and staying in school.

"It's all about community relations throughout the islands," said Cpl. Jeremy T. Riglesberger, nuclear, biological, chemical chief for Headquarters Bn., MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. "It shows that Marines are willing to go out and help the community in any clime and place."

Waiakae students could be seen marveling at the cargo bay and cockpit of the helicopter during tours guided by the pilots, challenging for the schools pull-up crown, gawking in awe at military working dogs demonstrating their pursuit and capture training, and observing demonstrations of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

One of the most popular exhibits, other than the CH-53, was a military working dog brought along by the Military Police Department. The dog and its handler demonstrated obedience training and pursuit and capture procedures with the use of a military working dog handler wearing a padded wrap over his arm to protect against the German Shepherd's vicious bite.

A normal day at school is exactly the opposite of what the students at Waiakea High School experienced Friday when a visit from K-Bay Marines and Sailors provided hours of fun and learning during a CDAP visit.

"The Marine's visit was a lot of fun," said Lisa Williams, a Waiakea sophomore. "I learned a lot."

"Staying in school and away from drugs is an important message we are trying to send," said Riglesberger.

Through all of the fun and games, the message the servicemembers aimed to distribute throughout the population of the school, a message of sobriety and hard work, seemed to be received loudly and clearly by the many young minds at Waiakea High School. red ribbon icon

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