AMC commander’s Fourth of July safety message

  • Published
  • By Gen. Duncan McNabb
  • Air Mobility Command commander
To my fellow Airmen celebrating this July Fourth holiday around the globe, thank you for your sacrifice. Two hundred and thirty-one years ago, brave patriots very much like you created our nation ... the land of the free. As you proudly wear those broad stripes and bright stars on your uniforms, you serve as a beacon of hope to those in need and a blanket of protection from those that wish us harm. Also to your loved ones, the "stay-at-home patriots," thank you for your continued sacrifice in allowing the Airmen you love and support to serve the cause of freedom around the world.

As we celebrate this important date in American history, I strongly urge every member of our AMC family to maintain a mindset of safety and vigilance, both on and off duty. It only takes one moment of inattention or carelessness to turn a pleasant family outing into a tragedy.

For many of us, the Fourth of July is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends. The roads and highways will be filled with motorists, and our people will be exposed to the number one peacetime threat to human life - automobile accidents. Auto accidents have already claimed the lives of 33 Air Force members this year, including four from AMC. Each time we get behind the wheel, we must recognize the huge responsibility we have to ensure the safety of our passengers and others on the road.

Before you drive off for the holiday, I encourage each of you to follow three simple steps to increase the margin of safety for you and your loved ones: (1) don't get behind the wheel if you have been drinking; (2) always buckle up and make sure your passengers are properly restrained and (3) drive defensively. You must always be on the lookout for the telltale signs of inattentive, careless and drunk drivers.

For those of you taking to our nation's waterways, do so knowing that water-related activities are the second leading cause of death to Air Force members. Fatigue and alcohol are often factors in many of these fatalities. I urge you to exercise good judgment and avoid exceeding your limitations.

Whatever your plans are for this holiday, remain vigilant. You must identify and manage risks to keep you, your friends and loved ones safe. Tragedy can strike when least expected. Continue to serve as responsible wingmen and help each other make the right choices. I want all of you back safely after the well-earned July Fourth holiday. Have fun, but above all else, be safe!