Talk about a busy week
By Col. Edward C. Rothstein
We began the week with a continuation of activities related to Energy Action Month. Great exhibits are still on display at McGill Training Center. The open house, hosted by the Directorate of Public Works, is an opportunity to learn how you can reduce energy and water consumption, and help Fort Meade reach its energy conservation goals of 30 percent reduction by 2015.
This afternoon, we will celebrate National Red Ribbon Week with a great program sponsored by Army Community Service and Fort Meade's Army Substance Abuse Program at McGill Training Center.
National Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug-prevention campaign in the country. Traditionally, Red Ribbon Week takes place the last full week in October, with the weekends before and after the last full week included as appropriate celebration dates.
This year, Red Ribbon Week will be celebrated from Saturday to Oct. 28 and is themed, "The Best Me is Drug Free."
Red Ribbon Week serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand and make a commitment to support drug prevention, and to take a personal pledge to live a drug-free life, with the ultimate goal being the creation of a drug-free America.
The week commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985 while fighting the battle against illegal drugs to keep our country and children safe.
By wearing a red ribbon next week and in the last week in October, Americans demonstrate their passionate opposition to drugs, pay homage to Special Agent Camarena and honor all the men and women who have died in support of our nation's campaign against drug trafficking and abuse.
Later this afternoon I will participate in the dedication of Howie Hall in which we will memorialize the office building of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1622 in the name of Lonnie Howie Sr. Howie served as president of the AFGE Local 1622 from 1989 to 2011.
Our recognition of the service of an outstanding civil servant is in keeping with the finest traditions of Fort Meade and the United States Army. The dedication recognizes Mr. Howie for his commitment to AFGE Local 1622 and to improved employee-management relations.
Tomorrow I will be part of an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sarah's House.
The mission of Sarah's House is to provide safe shelter, daily meals and personal as well as professional casework support for those in need.
Sarah's House is one of three shelters in the United States supported by the U.S. Army. Fort Meade began its partnership with Anne Arundel County to provide space in 1985, making unused World War II-era barracks available for use.
Anne Arundel County then partnered with Catholic Charities to run the transitional housing that is now known as Sarah's House.
One of the great things about this event is how it illustrates Fort Meade's long partnership with communities and organizations outside our gates.
Not only do we provide an infrastructure and security that are essential to Sarah's House, it is not uncommon to see our service men and women volunteering their time to support Sarah's House. It's a wonderful example of how folks care about those who are less fortunate and how we are invested in our community.
Friday evening I'm inviting all of you to come celebrate "Meade's Gone Country" with me at the Fort Meade Conference Center. The event is open to everyone age 18 and older and features country music, mechanical bull contests, line dance lessons, bull's-eye contests and more.
There's a saying, "There's more to being a cowboy than just wearing the boots."
"Meade's Gone Country" is your opportunity to "cowboy" or "cowgirl" up.
I hope to see you Friday at The Conference Center having a Yippie-Yi-Yay good time!
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Col. Thomas S. Rickard
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