Texas Counterdrug teams up with DEA for drug free round robin

Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Leslie

Date: 10.22.2019
Posted: 10.24.2019 09:54
News ID: 349031
Texas Counterdrug teams up with DEA for drug free round robin

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to fly a LUH-72 Lakota helicopter to Austin-area schools in order to promote Red Ribbon Week by educating students on drug prevention and awareness.

The children at the four schools all took a pledge to be drug free from a DEA special agent educating the elementary kids on the hazards of drug use.

“I pledge to help others,” said Leroy Hartley, a special agent with the DEA, “and to keep myself drug free.”

Red Ribbon Week began in the 1980s when DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped and killed in Mexico by a drug cartel. His life goal was to help one child stay off drugs.

“Before he died, he had told his wife,” said Hartley, “”If I could save one kid’s life by staying off of drugs, then I feel I have accomplished something,” and that is why the DEA began Red Ribbon Week in his honor.”

The round robin included schools from Austin, Round Rock, Thrall and Taylor ranging from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. Students were given honorary special status for their participation.

“You are now all honorary special agents in law enforcement,” said Hartley.

Before the kids were able get close to the National Guard helicopter and take a group photo, they ended the presentation with a back and forth chant.

“We are drug free,” said Hartley.

The students clapped twice and replied with an emphatic, “Yes!”