Colón feels that free needle exchange is not promoting the use of drugs for those who otherwise might not be engaging in them. “People are already doing it,” he says. “There is a spectrum of behavior, and what we have to do is edge people towards a cleaner and easier way of living.”
This easier way of living means no drugs, no steps and no mediation. “What we’ve learned in the HIV crisis is that harm reduction is one tool we can use, and we should implement it on a national level.”
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Peg owes her interest in the U.S military to her father, who was in the Navy Reserves and was a private pilot. Peg describes how her traditional tight-knit Italian family gave her the opportunity to closely watch as her father pursued a career in the military.
She recalls one time when she expressed an interest in becoming a military aviator herself and was told that she could be “a nurse instead.” Instead of bringing her spirits down, these words motivated Peg even more to become a pilot for the U.S. Navy.
Peg’s many achievements include serving overseas during the War on Terror where she rescued an Air Force pilot who was stranded at sea and serving as the Dean of Students at Naval Academy. Her passion and commitment to our country is evident in her interview!
Not only is Peg an accomplished military woman; she is also committed to improving educational opportunities in this country. She says the value of education that she was raised with is closely mirrored in Order Sons of Italy in America.
Peg thanks her father and her Italian grandmother, who showed her what sacrifice and hard work meant. We would like to thank Peg for her service to this country and the example that she has set for young women all over.
Order Sons of Italy in America has decided to honor Jessica Wright for her service to our country and for being a prime example of Italian-American values. Jessica’s passion for her Italian heritage is apparent in her interview. The granddaughter of Italian immigrant, Jessica is proud of her roots and is grateful for the identity that they have given her!
Jessica describes what she believes it is like to “live like an Italian” by citing a few key values that her family instilled in her. Above everything, valuing family and working just as hard as you play seem to be the most important two!
Not only is Jessica a proud Italian woman, she is also an inspiration for her gender as a whole. Jessica was the first female aviator in the National Guard. She retired as a military officer in 2010 and then worked her way up to a job in the Pentagon under the secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The “work hard, play hard” Italian values that she described earlier in her interview are clearly present in Jessica’s life work!
Jessica stresses that this award is not about her, but about “the possibilities and the opportunities that this land affords you, and particularly the military.” She then goes on to thank those who have supported her throughout her life and gives a touching thanks to her late father. Her son, Mike, has followed in his mother’s footsteps and is a captain in the army!
Jessica is a truly outstanding example of Italian-American values and we thank her for her committed service to our country!