Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort -- It’s early February in Mexico, 1985, and a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration is on the brink of exposing a multi-million dollar drug pipeline. Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, formerly a corporal in the Marine Corps, locks his gun and badge in a cabinet to take his wife to lunch.
A black vehicle pulls up, five armed men kidnapping him. Camarena’s body was found nearly a month later, tortured and mutilated.
It is in Camarena’s memory that Red Ribbon Week is a national observance in reducing the demand for drugs and leading drug free lives.
“After his death, we began wearing red ribbons in honor of Enrique Camarena, one of the Marine Corps’ own,” said Gayle Wierzbicki, drug demand reduction coordinator for the Tri-Command. “The Red Ribbon golf tournament is a way for us to give back to the military.”
The Red Ribbon golf tournament is a free event scheduled to take place at The Legends Golf Course aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Oct. 17. Sponsored by Marine and Family Substance Abuse Program, participation in the tournament includes unlimited range balls, a golf cart, the chance to win a prize, and information on drugs and drug abuse.
This year’s red ribbon week theme is “Love yourself. Be drug free.” The week gives communities an opportunity to unite in a show of support against drug abuse.
“A lot of people think that drugs are harmless because they’re natural or organic,” said Wierzbicki. “One decision that sounds like a good idea at the time can cost you your family, career and life.”
Alcohol abuse and the distribution, possession or use of illegal drugs is contrary to the effective performance of Marines and to the Marine Corps’ Mission, and will not be tolerated in the Marine Corps, according to Marine Corps Order P1700.24B.
“As long as there is a demand for drugs, [cartels] will continue supplying it,” said Wierzbicki. “Drug cartels are a criminal element, but they will target the military. It’s a business to them.”
Show your support for Red Ribbon Week by participating in the Red Ribbon golf tournament. Register for the event online at redribbongolftournament.eventbrite.com.
Clubs are not included. Participants should bring their own club or reserve a set of clubs from the club house for ten dollars.
“I’m looking forward to the Marines having fun and building camaraderie while recognizing the reason we’re having this golf tournament,” said Wierzbicki.