2nd Air Force commander urges safety during holidays

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Al Flowers
  • 2nd Air Force commander
Team Second Air Force, 

The Christmas and New Year holiday season is nearly here, and many will soon be traveling to be with family and friends. Although this holiday season is meant to be a time of joy and celebration, it can also be a time of sadness too often marred by tragic --and preventable -- loss of life. 

This time of year requires our very best efforts to protect our greatest resource: our people. Each of you had an important part in making this year's Thanksgiving holiday a success story; so, let's keep the same momentum in the upcoming holidays. 

Now is the time to revisit successful campaign strategies and apply lessons learned. We must continue to focus on the traditional problem areas: drinking and driving, seat belt usage, fatigue, complacency, judgment and personal discipline. Bad weather, unplanned trips, festive gatherings, and recreational and sporting activities present predictable risks. 

Be a good "Wingman" and seek a commitment from each member under your command to accept accountability, responsibility and pledge to exercise safe conduct, both on and off duty. 

Remember for some of our Airmen, the months of November through January aren't always the happiest times of the year. A large majority of suicides involving Air Force members occur during these months. Look for signs in your personnel. Are they having marital problems, health issues, or financial problems? This time of year can be very stressful and depressing. Make sure these Airmen have all the support they need to ensure they remain in our Air Force family. 

Thank you for all you do. I commend each of you for the support you have given and ask during the holidays we place special emphasis on taking care of our people. Ida and I wish all of you happy and joyous holidays. We need every member of this team to return safely and ready to meet the challenges facing us in 2009.