CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — School children on U.S. military bases on Okinawa will be doing their best to outdo each other in finding new ways to “Just Say No” during National Red Ribbon Week.

On Monday the III Marine Expeditionary Force jazz band will perform at Zukeran Elementary School on Camp Foster for “We Band Together Against Drugs Day.”

On Tuesday at Kinser Elementary School on Camp Kinser, students will wear their shirts backwards to “Turn your back on drugs.”

Thursday is the “Band Together” day at Kinser Elementary, when the II MEF Band will make another appearance and McGruff the Crime Dog will howl against drugs as well as join students in circling the school.

Later in the day, at noon, the III MEF Band will perform at an assembly for the Parent and Teachers Association at Zukeran Elementary School on Camp Foster.

Also on Thursday, the entire student body of Kubasaki High School is planning on spelling out a human anti-drug message on the football field.

On Friday the III Marine Expeditionary Force will lead a parade at Kadena Elementary School. At nearby Kadena Middle School, a community rally will kick off at 8 p.m. and a family activity night will feature several special events, according to 18th Wing Public Affairs.

From 7:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday on Torii Station there will be a joint-services “Heels, Wheels and Paws” fun run and walk.

In February 1985, Mexican drug dealers kidnapped and killed the agent, former Marine Enrique “Kiki” Camarena as he got close to cracking a multibillion dollar drug ring that allegedly extended into the highest reaches of the Mexican army, police and government. Red Ribbon Week began in 1988 to honor the fallen Drug Enforcement Agency officer.

The National Family Partnership, which coordinates Red Ribbon activities nationally, estimates more than 80 million Americans take part in Red Ribbon events. Red Ribbon Week is observed annually to make students aware of the dangers of drugs, highlighting community prevention programs.

Visit for more information on Red Ribbon Week.

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