The DEA and Young Marines Present Six Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and The Young Marines youth organization announced the Young Marines unit winners of the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Awards. The awards honor six Young Marines units for their drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.

The DEA and Young Marines present six Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards for drug demand reduction efforts through community education.

The DEA and Young Marines present six Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards for drug demand reduction efforts through community education.

The Young Marines youth organization has embraced drug demand reduction efforts for many years. In fact, our youth members are effective peer-to-peer role models for living healthy, happy and drug-free lives.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and The Young Marines youth organization announced the Young Marines unit winners of the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Awards. The awards honor six Young Marines units for their drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.

William Walker, deputy assistant administrator and special agent with the DEA, presented the awards on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Young Marines annual adult leaders’ conference in Reno, Nevada.

The division winners are:

  •     Division 1 - Blackstone Valley Young Marines; Milford, Massachusetts
  •     Division 2 - Colonel Wesley Fox Young Marines; Sterling, Virginia
  •     Division 3 - Orlando Devil Dog Young Marines; Orlando, Florida
  •     Division 4 - Mountain View Young Marines; Centennial, Colorado
  •     Division 5 - Midwest Central Young Marines; Deer Creek, Illinois
  •     Division 6 - Clovis Young Marines; Clovis, California

“We are proud to work with the DEA on recognizing the six outstanding units of The Young Marines,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of The Young Marines. “Our organization has embraced drug demand reduction efforts for many years. In fact, our youth members are effective peer-to-peer role models for living healthy, happy and drug-free lives.”

Young Marine units are judged on DDR (drug demand reduction) hours, curriculum and the steps taken to reach out to the community to include peers and others. In addition, the winner of each division must have participated in the DEA’s Red Ribbon Week. Units are allowed to enter pictures, endorsements, proclamations, videos and other items that help demonstrate their drug demand reduction efforts. The best two or three entries per division are sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters, and a winner from each division is selected.

The award is named in memory of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena who had served as a Marine. He was very concerned about the drug problem in the U.S., and in 1974, he became a special agent with the DEA. He worked in Mexico, and he had come dangerously close to exposing the top leaders of a multi-billion drug pipeline. He was abducted and brutally murdered in 1985 at the age of 37.

Agent Camarena received numerous awards while with the DEA, and after his death, he posthumously received the Administrator's Award of Honor, the highest award given by the organization. The nationwide annual Red Ribbon Week, which teaches school children and youths to avoid drug use, was established in his memory. In 2004, the Enrique S. Camarena Foundation was established in his memory.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at http://www.youngmarines.com.

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