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Leaders send holiday safety message

The Air Force's top leaders send the Air Force family a holiday safety message and remind all to celebrate responsibly. (U.S. Air Force illustration/Billy Smallwood)

The Air Force's top leaders send the Air Force family a holiday safety message and remind all to celebrate responsibly. (U.S. Air Force illustration/Billy Smallwood)

SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- The Air Force's top leaders send the Air Force family a holiday safety message and remind all to celebrate responsibly.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz issued the following message:

"Happy Holidays! Whether you are deployed, stationed overseas or living in the U.S., each of you should enjoy the season and celebrate in your own special way. However, we encourage you to celebrate responsibly. The Air Force needs you back at work, but more importantly, your friends and family need you in their lives. As the Air Force observes the Year of the Air Force Family, we ask you to consider how the results of your personal risk-related decisions and actions might affect your family and friends. What better gift can you give than to arrive home safely for the holidays?

The Air Force typically loses seven Airmen to personal motor vehicle mishaps during the months of November and December. Last fiscal year, we lost 47 Airmen to personal motor vehicle mishaps with 68 percent of those fatalities involving reckless behavior (not wearing a seatbelt, drinking and driving, or speeding). Many of you will travel during the holidays. Evaluate the hazards in your travel plans (fatigue, weather, pressing to get to your destination), then use sound risk management principles and discuss mitigation strategies with your commander or supervisor. Be responsible and remember the goal is ZERO preventable mishaps.

Enjoy the holidays and thank you for your service and your commitment to the Air Force!"

This joint letter to Airmen in addition to other senior viewpoints can be found in Viewpoints.