Civil Air Patrol squadron celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Submitted photos Elkins Mayor Van Broughton, joined by members of the Elkins Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, signs a proclamation in support of the organization’s Drug Demand Reduction Program during Red Ribbon Week. From left are Capt. Debbie Tysor, Cadet Mateo Hinkle, Cadet Alex Walters, Elkins Composite Squadron Commander Maj. Kathleen Dawson, C/A1C Alex Garcia, C/2nd Lt. Tyler Chewning, Broughton, C/SSgt Cody Gibson, C/CMSgt. Nathaniel Whetsell, West Virginia Wing Drug Demand Administrator Lt. Col. Kenneth Dilley, C/TSgt. Clark Bailey, C/CMSgt. Ravyn Weirich, Capt. Bruce Dawson and 2nd Lt. Roger Tysor.

ELKINS — Members of the Elkins Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol participated in a week of various events and activities in recognition of Red Ribbon Week.

The theme of this year’s campaign was “Send a Message. Stay Drug Free.” From October 23rd-31st, the squadron held daily events and activities with a drug free theme.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, members met with Elkins Mayor Van Broughton, where a proclamation signing took place at City Hall. The mayor gave his support to the squadron in support of a drug free community. In attendance was WV Wing Drug Demand Reduction Administrator Lt Col Kenneth Dilley. The squadron honored both Broughton and Dilley as “Red Ribbon Week Campaign Champions” and presented certificates to them.

During the week, cadets signed Red Ribbon Pledges, participated in the Elkins Business Downtown Trick or Treat and other activities. Members also attended a “Cadet’s Choice” squadron costume party where the price of admission was a donation item for the Randolph County Humane Society.

Squadron Drug Demand Reduction Officer Capt Debbie Tysor stated, “Teenagers in our society are confronted with many pressures. Many times our youth see drug use as a way to escape these pressures. The DDR Program helps our cadets increase their awareness, knowledge and self-esteem. They learn invaluable leadership skills and have access to many activities through the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program.”

West Virginia Wing DDR Administrator Lt. Col. Kenneth Dilley, left, and Elkins Composite Squadron DDR Officer Capt. Debbie Tysor, right, present Cadet Cody Gibson with a DDR Excellence Certificate for successful completion of specified DDR activities. Gibson is the first cadet in the squadron to receive this certificate.

Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. It began as a tribute to fallen Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Enrique Camerena in 1985. According to the DEA, Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s largest and longest-running drug awareness and prevention program.

The U.S. Air Force and Civil Air Patrol became involved with Red Ribbon Week in 1994 as a way to improve the lives of service members’ families and children. CAP has since expanded its role to include a year-round Drug Demand Reduction Program with three major elements — education, training and community outreach. Each element is designed to bring an anti-drug message to the community, students throughout the nation and CAP members.

The Elkins Composite Squadron meets weekly at the Elkins-Randolph County Regional Airport. Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/capelkins/ for more information.

Cadets attending a Red Ribbon Week costume party bring items for donation to the Randolph County Humane Society.