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    Texas National Guard Counterdrug holds inaugural 5K race, observes Red Ribbon Week

    Texas Counterdrug Taskforce holds inaugural 5k for Red Ribbon Week

    Photo By Nadine Wiley De Moura | Ninety-seven Soldiers, Airmen, Texas Military Department employees, family and law...... read more read more

    AUSTIN, Texas— The Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Taskforce organized an inaugural 5K fun run/walk to observe the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign and the sacrifices made by their law enforcement partners, Oct. 30, 2018 at Camp Mabry.

    Ninety-seven Guardsmen, Texas Military Department employees, family members and local law enforcement community members took to the Camp Mabry track dressed in Halloween costumes and red T-shirts tagged with the 2018 Red Ribbon Week theme, “Life is your journey, travel drug free.”

    Red Ribbon Week was established in honor of DEA agent Enrique KiKi Camarena who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by drug traffickers in Mexico City in 1985. His death began the continued tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs.

    “The month of October is a time that schools and organizations observe Red Ribbon Week to show awareness of the sacrifices that our law enforcement community make,” said Col. Miguel Torres, Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Taskforce commander, in his opening remarks. “Today we also remember the DEA agent, Kiki Camarena, who was brutally murdered in Mexico City in 1985.”

    Since U.S. Congress mandated the National Guard Counterdrug program in 1989, the Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Taskforce has played an integral role in homeland security by supporting local law enforcement communities, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    The Counterdrug frequently supports the DEA in campaigns like Red Ribbon Week and Take Back Day in an effort to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug-free America.
    “This is an effort to improve the way of life for our kids,” Torres said. “We keep seeing in the news the opioid epidemic, the multiple deaths that occur throughout the country.”

    Participants of all ages and ability groups, from various organizations, cheered on fellow runners and walkers, laughed at each other’s elaborate costumes and took photos with colleagues.

    The free event featured music that boomed over the loud speakers across the one-mile track. All participants received a free red T-shirt printed with the Red Ribbon Week campaign slogan and the taskforce logo.

    “I felt like it was a good morale boost, a lot of people seemed really excited to be here. I think it worked well for all age groups and ability levels,” said Capt. Jolene Hinojosa, aide-de-camp to the Deputy Adjutant General of the Texas Army National Guard. “This event helps reemphasize the partnership that Counterdrug has on so many different levels. The opening comments that recognized the outside law enforcement agencies reminded everyone why we are here and wearing red today.”

    Sgt. 1st Class Joe Ramos, the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the event said that he and other taskforce members came up with the idea to do a 5K to raise awareness among the Texas Military Department of the different law enforcement agencies that Counterdrug supports.

    “We wanted to support this event because this is a big campaign for our law enforcement partners,” Ramos said. “This will be an annual event, that we do from here on out and we hope it gets bigger every year.”

    Ramos said that next year the event will be held on a weekend and will include more, families, taskforce members and law enforcement agencies.

    1st Lt. Timothy Ross, came in first place with a run time of 19:30 minutes. Sgt. Rashawn Aluko placed second with a run time of 22:15 minutes.

    “If you are in the law enforcement agency or support an agency, thank you for all that you do each day, stay safe and come home safe,” Torres said.



    Date Taken: 10.30.2018
    Date Posted: 10.30.2018 18:27
    Story ID: 298310
    Location: AUSTIN , TX, US 

    Web Views: 195
    Downloads: 0