4th of July Safety Message for 2008

  • Published
  • By Gen. Arthur J. Lichte
  • Commander, Air Mobility Command
Now that we're a little more than one month into the 101 Critical Days of Summer, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of you for the safe start we've had so far. This year's slogan, "Be your own safety manager" has proved to be a great tool to keep us all properly focused, and with the 4th of July weekend just a few days away, now's a great time to quickly re-emphasize some important points to keep us all on the right vector. 

As I mentioned in the video for the 101 Critical Days of Summer, our primary focus this year is to prevent vehicle accidents, which historically have been the leading cause of fatalities during the summer months. Last year, we lost 14 Airmen who died as the result of vehicle accidents, and our goal this year (and every year) is to reduce that number to zero. To make this happen, all of us (as Airmen) need to shoulder the responsibility of making this a reality. That responsibility, however, is a two-sided coin. From a personal perspective, I expect every Airman in the command to not break the law when it comes to wearing seatbelts and drinking and driving. It's not just a lapse in judgment--it's against the law. And, from a wingman's perspective, I expect every Airman to take the personal responsibility to ensure those around them are making the right decisions and being safe. It's a heavy responsibility, and sometimes it means you'll need to take the choice away from a friend who can't make the right choice for him or herself. 

This doesn't mean you can't have fun with family and friends. In fact, I encourage you to enjoy the summer--especially the upcoming 4th of July weekend. If you plan on including fireworks as part of the holiday, please be safe. And, for those looking forward to some times on the road to reach their favorite vacation spot, please ensure you give yourself some extra time to get there and back safely. Over-extending yourself by "marathon driving" is dangerous not only to you, but also the family members in the car with you. The potential consequences are just not worth it. I'd prefer that you come back from vacation late than not at all. 

The worldwide mobility team is doing great things in support of the joint warfighter, and in this team effort every single Airman is important. Each of you are critical to AMC's 900+ daily sorties that take the fight to the enemy, resupply those in contact with the enemy, transport wounded, or food, water and medicine to those who need it. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, and thank you for continuing to make this summer season "fatality free."