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K9 participates in Red Ribbon Week

8 Nov 2013 | Cpl. D.J. Wu

Marines with the Combat Center Provost Marshal’s Office K9 unit visited more than a dozen schools in the local community, educating students on what law enforcement does at the Combat Center during this year’s Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week is an annual awareness campaign designed to educate children on living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. This year’s Red Ribbon Week ran from Oct. 25 and Oct. 31.

Schools throughout the Morongo Basin invited Combat Center units to participate in educating their students on aspects of law enforcement and engaging them with a K9 demonstration.

“It really gives the kids the appreciation of what police officers and the military do to protect us,” said Matt Gay, principal, Yucca Mesa Elementary School. “The students have been learning different things about living a healthy lifestyle all week. Some days were classes on the dangers of drugs and days like today, it was about law enforcement and K9. We’re just grateful to have these guys out here.”

The Combat Center’s K9 unit uses demonstrations to reach out to the community and to show the students that they are out protecting them and doing their best to take care of potential criminals.

“We love coming out and doing this for the kids,” said Sgt. Lee Bartholomew, military working dog trainer, PMO. “It gives us a chance to show the kids what we do up close and to answer questions that they have.”

Red Ribbon Week is not only about being drug free. It also teaches students about violence prevention and the dangers of alcohol and tobacco.

“Red Ribbon Week is an important program,” Gay said. “It’s important that we instill these values in our kids early and to keep the education going throughout middle and high school.”

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