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Colorado National Guard helping prevent drug abuse in Colorado schools 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
Red Ribbon Week 

Elementary school children speak with a Soldier and get a close-up view of a Colorado National Guard OH-58 Kiowa helicopter at a Red Ribbon Week event in 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares, Colorado National Guard/RELEASED)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

CONTACT:
Army 2nd Lt. Skye Robinson
720-785-3860

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (10/11/11) – Throughout the month of October, the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Counterdrug Task Force, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will land at schools across Colorado in support of Red Ribbon Week.

Each year, the Colorado National Guard makes presentations at approximately 75 Colorado schools to educate students on the importance of drug-free living and making positive choices. 

The helicopter landing – whether a UH-72 Lakota or an OH-58 Kiowa – is just the beginning. Students also have the opportunity to hear a presentation by a Colorado Guardsman, a member of the Drug Enforcement Agency and a special guest speaker. If time allows, students will also be allowed to get a closer look at a helicopter.

“Red Ribbon Week is a DEA initiative that we gladly support,” said Colorado Air National Guard Maj. Holger Peters, Colorado JCDTF commander. “Red Ribbon Week reinforces positive, anti-drug messages in the minds of Colorado kids.”

Such drug demand reduction initiatives, presented through schools and community groups, educate approximately 40,000 youths every year.

At schools where helicopters cannot land, the CO-JCDTF will display other military equipment such as military vehicles, to garner the youths’ interests.

While Red Ribbon Week officially spans seven days in October, one week just isn’t enough time to reach all the schools that request support from the CO-JCDTF. Weather is also a determining factor, therefore some visits take place outside that window.

The Colorado Joint Counter Drug Task Force (CO-JCDTF) is a joint program that draws personnel and resources from the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard of Colorado. CO-JCDTF supports local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, community-based organizations, and schools with a variety of services to help rid Colorado communities of the effects of drug abuse and associated social issues. CO-JCDTF is divided into three sections: Drug Interdiction, Drug Demand Reduction and Substance Abuse Prevention, that provide support to civil authorities in their respective functional areas.

FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Media interested in covering any of these events should contact 2nd Lt. Skye Robinson at 720-785-3860 in order to coordinate coverage.

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10/11/2011