2008-10-29 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Red ribbons, Halloween and time to vote
By Larry G. Spence

This is a busy time of year for us in law enforcement, the football season is going strong so there are plenty of activities taking place on and off the playing field. It's a busy time for coaches, players, band members, and teachers as well. Then to top it off, it's also Red Ribbon Week which is a reminder of the dangers of using illegal substances, both physically and criminally and socially. Halloween rears its ugly head once again, there will be opportunities for children to safely enjoy the evening by going by HEB parking lot and visiting the different groups that will be handing out candy there. This week is also Homecoming Week for the Bearkats so a lot of activities are planned around Homecoming week.

This is the time of year we visit the schools to remind the children of the dangers of substance abuse and why there are wearing their red ribbons. Started first by the Virginia Federation of Parents and the Illinois Drug Alliance back in the early 80's, the red ribbon campaign was brought more into focus by the death of DEA agent Enrique Camarena Salazar. Texas joined with other states in 1986 as the Texans War on Drugs adopted the wearing of the red ribbons as a reminder to the world that we should not tolerate drug and alchohol abuse by Americans, and to remind us of those who have lost their lives fighting this battle. It is a battle that still goes on daily in American and especially here in Willacy County. We are reaping what we have sown these past few years and the harvest is not good. There is a price that has to be paid for a generation that fools around with substance abuse and we are paying that price in our communities today. As I've stated before, if we are to change our society, the change has to start at home.

Finally, it is time to pick new leaders, from the federal levels down to the state and local levels. It is your privilege to have an opportunity to vote and I urge each of you to take advantage of that opportunity to cast your vote for the candidates of your choice. I hope you will seek each candidates credentials and opinions of issues facing us today and then make your decision. If you don't vote, then you have no right to complain later about whoever is in office. Vote your principles, vote your beliefs, vote your conscience, but vote.

A last word or two as we look ahead to the new few weeks. We are entering the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are not that far off. These are holidays for family, time to get together with loved ones. I encourage you to use this time wisely, enjoy each other while you still can, and don't allow a loved one to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking or abusing other drugs. Have a safe and enjoyable week!

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