One of the primary nationwide events that Young Marines participate in is Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week represents a national anti drug effort and awareness campaign observed annually in October throught the United States.
Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Camarena, a former Marine, worked against traffickers bringing illegal drugs into the United States. In his memory, citizens of his hometown of Calexico, California donned red ribbons in his honor; the red ribbon became a symbol for prevention in order to reduce the demand for illegal drugs.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Family Partnership, approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.