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Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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Combat Center motorcycle riders journey down California Highway 62 during the Behavioral Health Branch Ride for Freedom, Freedom to Ride Sober Motorcycle Ride, May 29, 2015. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/ Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

Freedom Ride raises awareness to substance abuse prevention

29 May 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

            The Combat Center Behavior Health Branch hosted the first Substance Abuse Awareness Ride for Freedom, Freedom to Ride Motorcycle Ride, which began at the Protestant Chapel and proceeded through the streets of the Morongo Basin, May 29, 2015.

            BHB hosted the event to educate all personnel on base about the impact of substance abuse and the services available to them on base.

            “We are showing the members of the base how they can have fun riding and stay safe throughout the 101 Days of Summer campaign,” said Carleen Dickson, substance abuse specialist, BHB. “It also gives the members of the base a chance to ride their motorcycles together for a good time.”

            The 101 Days of Summer campaign is a Marine Corps-wide initiative to educate service members on how to stay safe during the summer months.

            “Motorcycle riders are a very small community,” said Bob Piirainen, instructor, Driver Improvement Course, Combat Center Safety Office. “We need to make sure that the Marines to our left and right stay safe. That [concept] applies to more than your fellow riders. Be safe and you can continue to ride and enjoy yourselves.”

            Participants were given the opportunity to learn how substance abuse impacts their lives and the lives of those around them. The participants earned a shirt and a patch adorned with the Substance Abuse Program logo for riding in the event.

            “We had approximately 80 people participate in this ride,” Dickson said. “Seeing all these riders join in makes me feel like we make a difference in helping the members of the base stay safe.”

            The route was more than 100 miles from start to finish. BHB hopes to continue this event and get more people to participate in the future.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms