Counting our blessings, staying safe during the holidays

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing commander
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American experience. All around our country, people take time to pause and give thanks for the blessings of the year and to look forward to better times ahead. It is a time of family, fellowship, friendship, food and, to some, football. 

The Thanksgiving holiday marks the highest period of travel in our nation. More folks travel to see family and friends for this holiday than any other. That means a lot of folks are out on the roads or in the air. Your safety is critically important so please be careful on the roads this week. If you are driving out of town, make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and you are well rested. Do not exceed safe driving distances, drive safely and within posted speed and travel directions, and have a travel plan you share with family and friends so they know where you are. If you are in the military, make sure you are on leave as appropriate. If you are traveling up north, be alert to road conditions such as ice and snow. Even if you grew up with ice and snow, you are likely out of practice and need to be especially cautious! If you are staying here on the coast, please be careful on the roads, too. Visitors from out of town that aren't familiar with our traffic patterns, holiday shoppers, and the careless can ruin a great holiday. Be prepared and safe on the road! 

The Thanksgiving meal is something we all look forward to yet there are always some terrible accidents reported around the country involving cooking. The commercial on TV is correct; frying a frozen turkey can be disastrous! Make sure safety is part of your game plan for this holiday the home as well as on-the-road. 

I hope that your Thanksgiving will include those who are separated from their loved ones due to deployments. Let's not forget our waiting spouses and children, our veterans, or our own Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines. Nobody should observe Thanksgiving alone, and this is a time when the Air Force family opens our hearts and homes to set another place at the table for someone who couldn't be with their family. 

We are so very fortunate to live in the best country in the world. It is time for us to give thanks for all our blessings. I feel blessed to work alongside the greatest people in the entire world. Thanks for all you do and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!