Young Marines Participate in Red Ribbon Week

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Young Marines units from all over the country are participating in projects to support Red Ribbon Week – Oct. 23 – 31, 2013, which is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school.

Red Ribbon Week is sponsored by the National Family Partnership. The Young Marines, as an organization, has always embraced the designated week with great enthusiasm.

Young Marines units from all over the country are participating in projects to support Red Ribbon Week – Oct. 23 – 31, 2013, which is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.

The 2013 theme for Red Ribbon Week is “A Healthy Me Is Drug Free®.” The national campaign goal includes helping all Americans come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training and networking.

The mission of the Young Marines has a similar theme and focuses exclusively on young people: “…to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.”

Red Ribbon Week is sponsored by the National Family Partnership. The Young Marines, as an organization, has always embraced the designated week with great enthusiasm.

Red Ribbon Week was started in 1985 when drug traffickers in Mexico City tortured and murdered Drug Enforcement Agent Kiki Camarena. That terrible event began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs.

“Last year, Young Marines units across America generated significant publicity by participating in Red Ribbon Week,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “In fact, each spring, we bestow the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Awards which honor six Young Marines units for their drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.”

Kiki Camarena was a Marine who 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 37 when he was murdered.

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.

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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Andy Richardson
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