Blackhawk helicopter at PSES

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SUN photo/Randi Pierce

Pagosa Springs Elementary School (PSES) fourth-graders and Archuleta County emergency responders pose in front of the Colorado Army National Guard Counterdrug Task Force’s UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at PSES Wednesday morning. The goal of the task force, based out of Buckley Air Force Base at the 2-135th Aviation Battalion, is to inspire kids all around Colorado to be drug-free through the Red Ribbon drug prevention awareness. Members of the Guard talked to the fourth-grade students about the dangers of drugs and the importance of being drug-free in order to achieve their life’s goals. The students were also given a list of 238 “Things to Do in Pagosa Springs” as alternatives to drugs, with that list being compiled by last year’s fourth-graders in a 10-minute period. Pagosa Springs Elementary School Principal Justin Cowan serves as chaplain for the Guard’s unit.