Counterdrug Task Force supports drug-free Ohio teens during annual We Are The Majority Rally
Story by Staff Sgt. Chad Menegay, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
The Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force supported more than 1,800 Ohio teens during the We Are The Majority Rally in downtown Columbus.
The rally featured live music, pizza for the participants, speeches by state leaders, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and a march to the Statehouse. The annual event celebrates Ohio teens leading a drug-free lifestyle, raises awareness about substance misuse and advocates for youth-led prevention.
Counterdrug Task Force (CDTF) members served in a number of supporting roles to make the event successful and generally interacted with the youth in attendance, showcasing that the Ohio National Guard is a drug-free organization and highlighting what the CDTF does for the community. The CDTF is a joint team of about 50 Soldiers and Airmen that works full-time to support the fight on illegal drug use and educate youth on making healthy life choices.
“We’re here to celebrate the majority of teens who are not misusing drugs or any type of tobacco or alcohol,” said Senior Airman Odiamehi Oziegbe, a civil operator with the CDTF.
Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, was also present to celebrate “the majority,” and he gave them a message of self-empowerment in his speech.
“The only people who will decide if your generation does better than our generation is you,” Harris said. “Trust in you. I believe that out there somewhere is a future governor, that out there is a future F-16 pilot. I believe that our future members of the House of Representatives, of our state Senate, are standing right here. That’s you, and you, the majority, will decide what happens with your generation.”
Empowerment of youth was a major theme at the rally. One motto at the rally was “for us by us,” because the event is planned by Ohio teens.
The event is organized by the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network and the OYLPN Youth Council, both of which work year-round to build partnerships between youth and adult allies working in youth empowerment and youth-led drug prevention. It is supported by Prevention Action Alliance, Start Talking and the CDTF.