Celebrate the fourth, see the fifth

  • Published
  • By Col. Marty Chapin
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing
We have holidays that celebrate our thanks, that re-enforce our faith and that honor our fallen, but the 4th of July is unique in that it celebrates the one thing all of us are sworn to defend; our nation and the Constitution. This year we celebrate 236 years of independence and we hope that you take a moment to be proud of your contribution to our independence and freedom.

So please, relax, celebrate, visit with friends and family and enjoy the holiday and AMC family day that follows. It's a great time of year to enjoy some down time, but the last thing the Air Force needs is the loss or injury of one of our own to a tragedy. Taking just five extra seconds to think through your actions can literally mean the difference between life and death; that's a good return on investment! 

So far this summer, the Air Force has lost eight Airmen to preventable mishaps. All these incidents occurred during common seasonal activities: driving, motorcycling, and boating. The loss of these Airmen have tremendous negative impacts for their family and friends, as well as the rest of the Air Force. Tragically, all these incidents could have been avoided.

As you go about your holiday plans, we ask you to keep a few things in mind. When driving an automobile wear your seatbelts and ensure your passengers do too. Also watch out for motorcycles. If riding a motorcycle, ensure you wear all of your protective equipment and keep an eye out for cars. When outdoors, hydrate and make sure your friends and family do too. If boating, kayaking, or canoeing wear a personal flotation device. Inevitably, safety reports reveal a similar message, our Airmen know what they SHOULD do, but excitement, a sense of urgency or complacency caused them to deviate from what they knew was right. Remember: five extra seconds...
Command Chief Monk and I want you to enjoy yourselves during the holiday, but please do so wisely and responsibly. Take care of yourself, your family and your wingman so that we can all celebrate the fourth, but live to see the fifth.