What does Airmen Against Drunk Driving do for me?

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Airmen Against Drunk Driving is a program that offers rides to stranded military personnel to prevent drunk driving. To use this service, all you need is a DOD ID card, and a volunteer will pick you up between the times of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Fridays, Saturdays, and Thursday nights before non-training Fridays.

When I first heard about this program, I thought: Wouldn't people abuse this system? And secondly, who would volunteer their weekends to pick up drunk people?

The answers were made available to me pretty quickly.

The program is meant as a last resort for getting a ride home, as it is a free service. Most military members will gladly spend $20 on a cab instead of waking up a wingman in the middle of the night.

Many nights at the casinos in town don't go according to plan, but with a designated driver available or enough fare for a cab, there isn't really a need to call AADD.

But the first time I called AADD, I had no other choice, like many others who have used the service.

The boundaries for pick-up are Highway 49 in Gulfport to Highway 57 in Gautier, and two miles north of Interstate 10.That's a huge area to cover. And at 2 a.m., I couldn't help but feel guilty having to wake somebody up. I wouldn't want to wake up that late and drive to Highway 49.

But when my ride showed up, she was obviously glad to help and my uneasiness faded. I knew I made the right choice when I apologized for waking her, because she told me, "As long as you aren't driving yourself!"

Although I'd not really had that much to drink, she was definitely right.

What's the point in even taking a chance when you have wingmen who are glad to help out?

But, why are they glad to help? I couldn't help wonder. I'd never been a DD before.
So, I volunteered to be a driver for AADD.

There are two different volunteer positions--dispatchers and drivers. Dispatchers are responsible for the whole weekend and call drivers to pick up patrons.

Volunteering for AADD basically puts you on call for the weekend, so don't make plans. But, you're on call with a long list of others, so you don't have to sit in your room staring at your phone either.

I got my first call at 2 a.m., Friday morning. And I was actually excited.

It's an opportunity to pass on what you've been given. Even if you've never used the AADD service itself, you've likely been assisted by a wingman before, and that is exactly what this is.

Nobody in the group I picked up was in condition to drive, and yet they were all courteous and grateful for the help.

That's what AADD is: it's a community in which Airmen look out for fellow Airmen, encouraging responsible behavior. Put the number in your contacts. Or, you could even volunteer a random weekend out of your year.

To use the service, call 228-377-7283.

To volunteer, email aadd.keesler@us.af.mil.