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Thanksgiving safety message

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marj and I would like to extend a heartfelt happy Thanksgiving to the Air Force Space Command family. The success we've seen in the past year has certainly given us reason to be thankful, and it is through your hard work and dedication, at home stations as well as on deployments, that has made it so successful.

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I ask you to be vigilant in looking after the safety of your family and your fellow wingmen. Keep your mind on the safety basics: seatbelts don't drink and drive, don't speed. Your plan for a designated driver shouldn't be created after you've had your first drink. Make sure you are not just driving safely, but you are keeping an eye out for the travelers around you. The biggest hazards out there are the other drivers and those who try to multi-task. (i.e., texting and using cell phones)

Supervisors, you are our best line of defense. I expect you to make eye-to-eye contact with all of your Airmen. Discuss their plans for the long weekend and keep an ear out for a coherent safety plan. Also, listen to their nonverbal communication. Are they communicating signs of distress; are they having a rough time with the holidays? If they are, please don't leave them alone. Escort them to their supervisor, first sergeant, commander, or chaplain so they can get the help they need.

Your safety focus is evident as demonstrated by us having the safest critical days of summer, with the fewest reported mishaps in six years. Though our safety statistics are vastly improved, I don't want anyone to ease up. Please help me continue this positive trend. Use sound judgment and common sense over the holiday weekend.

Everyone should return from the Thanksgiving holiday safe, rested and recharged. I appreciate your hard work and dedication this past year. We are proud of each and every one of you. Warmest wishes to you and your families!