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Veterans Against Drugs Task Force REPORT

BY DAVE SIMMONS, CHAIR
It is a fact that the most vulnerable times for adolescents are the hours between the time that they get out of school and the time when their parents get home from work. This free time is often idle time. That is when the first steps toward alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and violence happen.

Now that schools are in recess for the summer, there is even more idle time for vulnerable children. If you or members of your chapter are interested in starting a Veterans Against Drugs program in your community, this is a great time to begin. Many programs, including teen centers, day camps, and church youth programs, are looking for meaningful activities for adolescents. Make a difference in your community.

It was my pleasure to present the 2006 National Veterans Against Drugs Community Service Award to VVA Chapter 553 in Louisiana for the outstanding work that they do with Belle Chase High School. The program that they support and participate in is called “Our Veterans, Our Heroes.” This award is given to a chapter or state council that has developed or works with a program for youth. This program must be either anti-drug, anti-violence, or patriotic. I hope that more chapters and state councils will report to the Veterans Against Drugs Task Force on their youth programs that are In Service to America.

I have mentioned in several recent articles the new Veterans Against Drugs Patriotism program. It was my pleasure to premiere this newest part of the Veterans Against Drugs Lessons in Regions 1 and 3. Patriotism is the third program offered to chapters and state councils that work with Veterans Against Drugs. The five Core Values are:

1. The Flag (including flag etiquette)
2. American Traditions: songs, stories, heroes, and pride
3. Our Military and its role in America
4. Homeland Security
5. American Holidays: what they are, why we celebrate them

This program will be available soon in DVD form and in a printed booklet.
On Father’s Day weekend, I presented the Patriotism segment to the Georgia State Council. Georgia is one of the most exciting places where Veterans Against Drugs has really taken hold. Several different chapters in Georgia have unique ways to reach out to their communities In Service to America.

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