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    "Texas Counterdrug Guardsmen educate students at wellness fair”

    " Texas Counterdrug Guardsmen support Burnet Middles School's Safe and Drug Free Wellness Fair "

    Photo By Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura | BURNET, Texas---Sgt. 1st Class Lee Kirkland, Spc. Jacob Raygo and Sgt. Irma Flores of...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura 

    Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force

    BURNET, Texas--- Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force Soldiers tossed a ball back and forth to students wearing “drunk” goggles during the Join the Journey Safe and Drug Free Wellness Fair Feb. 6 at Burnet Middle School.

    The exercise symbolized what it would be like trying to use hand-eye coordination and conduct even the simplest of tasks while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

    “I felt that we made an impact on the community with the information that we provided and the activities that we had for the kids,” said Sgt. Irma Flores, Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force member. “The challenge showed the students how drugs and alcohol can make a person lose control of their ability to see and function properly.”

    The Join the Journey fair began six years ago with the goal of addressing drug use in the community. The program was established by Burnet Consolidated Independent School District officials and Burnet resident Janet Christiansen to raise awareness among students and help them to resist using drugs.

    Getting the program started was important to Christiansen because her 21-year-old son, Caleb, passed away due to a drug overdose in 2011.

    “The best part of these events is being able to educate kids and use our resources to get them involved and enjoy being a part of a drug free community,” said Spc. Jacob Raygo, Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force member.

    Local law enforcement, substance abuse prevention coalitions and wellness organizations also participated in the event.

    “Over 40 organizations provided information and services to the large crowd in attendance,” said Sharon Schwartz, administrative assistant to the superintendent for BCISD. “We appreciated the Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Taskforce providing important information on their anti-drug coalition, as well as offering hands-on activities, and informative giveaways to the attendees”.

    Counterdrug Task Force members are no strangers to educating and partnering with Texas communities.

    For 30 years, the Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force has provided support to law enforcement and community-based organizations throughout the state of Texas to detect, interdict and deter illicit drug activities.

    Along with attending educational events like the wellness fair, task force members support the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Take Back Day and provide technical assistance to community-based organizations as a part of the task force’s Civil Operations program.

    One of the unique aspects of being a National Guardsmen on the task force is that the communities that they get to make an impact in are often the same communities that they live in.

    “Being able to represent the Joint Counterdrug Task Force at the Burnet Middle School Safe and Wellness Fair was a great opportunity,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lee Kirkland, Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force assistant team leader. “As a Burnet County resident, I was given the chance to make a difference in my own community by informing children and families of the dangers of narcotics and alcohol abuse.”



    Date Taken: 02.28.2019
    Date Posted: 03.01.2019 11:43
    Story ID: 312483
    Location: BURNET, TX, US 

    Web Views: 55
    Downloads: 0
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    "Texas Counterdrug Guardsmen educate students at wellness fair”