Keep Safety In Mind To Ensure Your Holiday Season Is Happy

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Touhill
  • 81TRW commander
Let's talk about holiday safety. What's that?
Think we can talk too much about holiday safety? Forget about it! 

I want each and every Airman at Keesler to return from the holidays safe, sound and ready for duty. The success of our mission depends on you and I appreciate your service to our great country. If you're injured in a traffic accident or other mishap, we just can't get the job done as efficiently or effectively. So, to help you return from your vacation safe and sound, let me remind you of a few things to keep in mind during the holiday season. 

Before you start your holiday celebrations, make safety part of your plans. Constantly being aware of your surroundings and taking proper measures to ensure you and yours are safe is of the utmost importance. A little caution and planning go a long way. 

For example, if you're going out of town, plan ahead. Include rest stops to reduce fatigue. DO NOT -- I repeat -- DO NOT drink and drive or allow anyone else to do so. There's no reason we can't make the most of the season, and keep ourselves and those we love safe as well. 

For those staying on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, remember people from all over the country come here to visit relatives, casinos and beaches. Many are unlikely to be familiar with the coast's unique traffic patterns and posted speed limits. Give yourself and our visitors a Christmas present -- patience. Drive carefully and considerately. 

Being aware of safety issues is your responsibility. You, your supervisors and co-workers must be engaged, ensuring that all know safety is our main priority this holiday season. The wingman culture we foster in the Air Force focuses us on safety and should be emphasized at every opportunity. Make sure your co-workers know you're concerned with their safety -- it's appropriate to let your buddy know you care. It's all a part of the holiday spirit, but most importantly, it's the right thing to do. 

It's a sad fact that more Americans have died in traffic accidents than in all our wars.  Making the decision to be safety-minded is the best way to avoid becoming a statistic. Remaining aware of safety issues is also one sure way to make the best of the season. Be careful out there.
Charlene and I send everyone on Team Keesler our warmest holiday greetings, and wish you a safe and successful time off. We look forward to seeing you soon.