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News: SD Drug Demand Reduction Program recognized among the best

Story by Staff Sgt. Chad CarlsonSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The South Dakota National Guard’s Drug Demand Reduction program was awarded the Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Hero’s in Washington, D.C. Friday, Oct. 22.

The award recognizes the best drug demand reduction program with each Service, the National Guard, and Defense Agencies in an effort to promote its support of outreach and prevention programs within its communities.

The SDNG Counterdrug program started in 1996, as a one soldier operation, with the mission of teaching the negative effects of bad choices and decisions, tobacco use, alcohol use, marijuana use and meth use. The program has since grown to five Soldiers, placed throughout the state, to help focus on the rural population east of the Missouri River.

“This is a wonderful honor for the DDR,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kristi Palmer, DDR non-commissioned officer in charge. “We have a small staff that covers the entire state, and receiving this award is a great way to validate that we are making a difference in South Dakota.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our Drug Demand Reduction team,” said Maj. Robert Dejong, Counter Drug Coordinator for the SDNG. “They’ve done a marvelous job of getting to as many schools as possible and spreading the drug-free life style message.”

In 2009, the DDR presented Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program Training to 75 different schools which allowed the staff to reach more than 4500 students in 5th-9th grades.

“It is clear that the South Dakota National Guard Counterdrug Program has implemented many activities that enable the program to help keep our young children drug and alcohol free,” said Dejong. “From the numerous activities during Red Ribbon Week to the awards given to our program for these efforts, to the follow-up efforts of youth rallies to the coalition meetings that keep our unique leadership on the forefront.

“Although awards give some meaning for our efforts with the students, the lasting award comes from the smile on the faces of the youth, showing a soldier or Airmen made a difference.”


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This work, SD Drug Demand Reduction Program recognized among the best, by 1LT Chad Carlson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.29.2010

Date Posted:10.29.2010 09:42

Location:WASHINGTON, DC, USGlobe

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  • Soldiers of the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) team, South Dakota National Guard Counterdrug program, along with other sponsors throughout the Rapid City area, hosted a Red Ribbon Billboard unveiling, Oct. 6.
  • The South Dakota National Guard Counterdrug Program’s Civil Operations Team was awarded the Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award at the Pentagon Hall of Hero’s in Washington Thursday, Oct. 18.
  • After 20 years of success, the Louisiana National Guard Counter Drug Task Force continues to serve as a positive reinforcement for drug demand reduction coalitions as noted at an annual Counter Drug Conference held at the Hilton Lafayette Hotel, July 30.
  • A new noise echoed across the parade deck during the Red Ribbon Rocks concert Friday on the Air Station as Kellie Pickler performed for service members and families.

Marine Corps Community Services and the Drug Demand Reduction program sponsored the event to promote a lifestyle free of alcohol abuse and drugs in a new and fun way for Marines and sailors.

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