Helicopter makes special landing at White Sands School for Red Ribbon Week

White Sands School observes Red Ribbon Week every October with various activities and events. The Army Substance Abuse Program at White Sands Missile Range collaborated with the school to provide drug abuse awareness to students. On October 25, 2023, members of the New Mexico National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Agents shared their knowledge on drug prevention with the students through fun activities.

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"This event came together when the Army Substance Abuse Program contacted us and wanted to support our Red Ribbon Week. They brought the New Mexico National Guard," said White Sands School Principal James Dickerson. "We are really thankful to Team WSMR for allowing this to happen and for getting the helicopter and the DEA here. All the kids are excited about Red Ribbon Week. It is a good day to be a Sun Chief."

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The morning began with the National Guard helicopter landing in the field in front of the school to an audience full of kids wearing neon-colored clothing and sunglasses. From there, the kids split up and did a round-robin of activities; some went to an assembly to learn about the origins of Reb Ribbon Week with a kid-friendly video teaching them about Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was kidnapped and killed before exposing a drug trafficking operation. The other group jumped on inflatable balloons, dressed up in DEA gear, and explored the helicopter.

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The common message of the day shared by Dickerson, Team WSMR, the DEA and the National Guard was always to remember to make wise choices and stay away from drugs. Embrace every moment of your life and make the most of it. Opportunities are bound to come your way if you keep moving forward with positivity and determination.

Photos by Jose Salazar, White Sands Missile Range Photographer and Vanessa Flores, White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Specialist

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Vanessa Flores, White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs