For many of us, Thanksgiving means turkey, pumpkin pie, and an endless day of football, but more importantly, it means gathering together with family, friends, and loved ones while giving thanks for what we have in our lives. In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday, make time to focus on holiday travel plans and manage the many associated risks especially when traveling by privately owned vehicle.

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year with literally millions of people rushing to arrive at their destination. The sheer number of travelers on the roads alone increases the likelihood of accidents and when fatigue is added to the mix, the risks are even greater. Fatigue is often a risk factor contributing to serious accidents; ensure you are getting adequate sleep as well as nutrition and exercise. Learn more about the Performance Triad and the System for Health at this link: Motorists should use the Army's on-line Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS) tool to assess and reduce the risks associated with their travel plans. TRiPS is available at:

The Army Winter Safety campaign is designed to heighten awareness of seasonal risk factors and provide leaders and Soldiers the tools they need to address safety issues. This year's initiative, the "Know the Signs" campaign, including tools and resources, is available at the Army Safety Center website, at In addition, I want all leaders to emphasize sexual assault risks, prevention, and response in their holiday safety briefings. Guidance is available at

In reflecting on this past year, I am thankful to be part of Army Medicine and for the freedoms we enjoy living in this great Nation. I am grateful for each of you and the contributions you provide in caring for our Soldiers and their Families. To you and your family, I extend my best wishes for a safe and joyous Thanksgiving holiday. We are "Army Safe and Army Strong."

Serving to Heal...Honored to Serve!