Red Ribbon Week; youth members sign pledge
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Nov. 5, 2014) -- Roman Duarte, a Zama American High School student, wore a sign around his neck that said, "I am silent to represent the deaths by substance abuse," as part of an activity during the Red Ribbon Week campaign held Oct. 23 to 31 on the Camp Zama installation, here.
Ashley Mote, another ZAHS student, said the purpose of wearing the signs and remaining silent for a class period was to "realize that you can't have those people in your life for a day if not for the rest of your life."
"Life is precious," said Duarte.
According to dulia.org, Red Ribbon Week is annually recognized to raise awareness and educate people, especially younger children and teens, of the dangers of substance abuse. Red Ribbon Week honors the memory of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent that got kidnapped and was tortured to death in Mexico in 1985.
Esther Dacanay and Barbara Secor, Camp Zama's Army Substance Abuse Program employees, visited Arnn Elementary School Oct. 28 to 30 to conduct character education sessions.
"The most important message would be to dissipate adversity. We can bounce back. We can be resilient and thrive. But it takes community," said Dacanay.
Jadin Martinez, an Arnn 3rd-grader, said he learned that, "If you take too much drugs, you would have to go to a hospital, and there could be a possibility that you (could) die."
Zama American Middle School students signed a pledge banner in support of Red Ribbon Week.
"Being drug-free is important to me and my future," said Alexia Jones, a ZAMS 8th-grader, after signing the "Pledge to Be Drug Free" banner.
"I don't want to get on a wrong path and destroy my career," said Jones.