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Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

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Cherry Point, North Carolina
NC Marines cruise to keep streets booze-free

By Lance Cpl. Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson | Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point | April 10, 2013

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Approximately 80 Marines from Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River get a safety brief at the New River Harley-Davidson dealership, before participating in a motorcycle ride for Alcohol Awareness Month sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune.

“Events like this are important,” said Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager. “Maybe if we raise awareness, we won’t have to lose anybody else to alcohol related incidents.”

Smith said the cause held a special place in his heart. He recently lost a friend in an alcohol related incident.

Approximately 80 Marines from Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River get a safety brief at the New River Harley-Davidson dealership, before participating in a motorcycle ride for Alcohol Awareness Month sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune. “Events like this are important,” said Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager. “Maybe if we raise awareness, we won’t have to lose anybody else to alcohol related incidents.” Smith said the cause held a special place in his heart. He recently lost a friend in an alcohol related incident. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson)


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Victoria Smith, daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager, puts on her helmet before getting on the back of her father’s Harley Davidson at the New River Harley-Davidson dealership Friday, before participating in a motorcycle ride for Alcohol Awareness Month sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Gunnery Sgt. Smith said he take it personal anytime he loses a friend to an alcohol related incident. He is part of a motorcycle mentorship program because he feels there are many worthwhile activities to get involved in that don’t involve alcohol.

Victoria Smith, daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager, puts on her helmet before getting on the back of her father’s Harley Davidson at the New River Harley-Davidson dealership Friday, before participating in a motorcycle ride for Alcohol Awareness Month sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Gunnery Sgt. Smith said he take it personal anytime he loses a friend to an alcohol related incident. He is part of a motorcycle mentorship program because he feels there are many worthwhile activities to get involved in that don’t involve alcohol. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson)


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Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager, and his nine-year-old daughter Victoria look over her helmet before departing from the New River Harley-Davidson in Jacksonville, N.C., Friday for a ride in support of Alcohol Awareness Month. Approximately 80 Marines from Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River participated in the ride sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager, and his nine-year-old daughter Victoria look over her helmet before departing from the New River Harley-Davidson in Jacksonville, N.C., Friday for a ride in support of Alcohol Awareness Month. Approximately 80 Marines from Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River participated in the ride sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the traffic safety office aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson)


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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --

Nearly 80 Marines from Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River met at a New River motorcycle dealership Friday to ride in observance of Alcohol Awareness Month. The ride was sponsored by the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Camp Lejeune traffic safety office.

Alcohol Awareness Month, held every April, was founded by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at encouraging families and individuals negatively affected by alcohol to seek help.

Gunnery Sgt. Eric Smith, who rode with his 9-year-old daughter, said the cause holds a special place in his heart.

“This is personal,” said the 2nd Marine Division strategic spectrum manager. “I’ve lost a lot of friends to alcohol-related incidents.”

Smith  said all the friends he lost along the way have impacted his life.

 “It’s a tough thing to deal with,” he said. “We deploy and fight for our country and make it back home. It is unacceptable to lose people to drunk driving.”

Smith’s daughter has been riding with him since she was 5.  She said she was excited to ride with her father and spend quality time with him. The two are inseparable and sometimes travel cross country together on his bike, he said. 

Smith said he looks forward to future rides with his daughter as she gets older.

“I’m glad I get to spend time with my daughter today,” he said. “She is my number one passenger. It also means a lot to help raise awareness for this cause. Maybe if we raise awareness, we won’t have to lose anybody else to alcohol-related incidents.”



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