SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 16, 2014) -- IMCOM Family,

As we prepare to celebrate the winter holidays, we want to wish every member of our U.S. Army Installation Management Command Family a joyous, blessed, and safe season. IMCOM is wrapping up a challenging year and looking forward to the challenges of next year. The holidays are a time of celebration, Family, and renewal. Take this opportunity to nurture your own resiliency. We encourage you to make time for your Family, to celebrate the season, and to look forward to a prosperous New Year.

A number of you will be traveling and just a moment of inattention can turn a festive journey into a tragedy. Winter driving has its own set of hazards. Take time to prepare your car by cleaning the headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows as often as necessary. When in doubt, turn headlights on. Lights will not help you see better in early twilight, but they'll make it easier for other drivers to see you. Being seen is as important as seeing. Reduce speed and increase following distances in inclement weather. Judging other vehicle's speeds and distances is more difficult at night. More tips can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/SafeDriving.pdf

The number of home fires tend to increase during the holiday season. Most "arts and crafts" Hanukkah lamps made by children are not suitable for lighting and could burn. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep Christmas trees well watered. The National Fire Protection Association offers additional tips at: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/christmas-tree -fires/christmas-tree-safety-tips

It is the season for parties. Take the time to have fun, but moderation is the key. New Year's Eve is notorious for drunk driving. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by staying alert. If you drink, leave the keys with a designated driver, or call a taxi. If you are hosting, provide alternative, non-alcoholic drinks. Also remember: buzz driving is drunk driving. Don't text and drive! Here are more safety tips for your use: (http://www.army.mil/article/71393/New_Years_Eve_safety_tips/)

It has been a wonderful year! The CSM and I are proud to be part of this great team. We cannot express our gratitude for all that you do for our Soldiers, their Families, and our Army Civilians. Be safe this holiday season. We want you to return refreshed, resilient, and whole.

Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier. Soldier for Life! Army Strong!

LTG David Halverson CSM Jeff Hartless