We are proud to call America our home and blessed to live in a Nation of unmatched freedom and opportunity. I encourage you to reflect on the values we hold and the freedoms we cherish as we celebrate our Nation's 239th Birthday.

The Fourth of July weekend is a hazardous time on US roadways. The weekend traditionally has the highest number of fatal vehicle accidents and the highest percentage of alcohol-related fatal accidents. Have a plan - manage your risks - ensure you are well rested and sober before getting behind the wheel. Supervisors - in preparation for the holiday, take a close look at your Soldiers travel plans and ensure they have used the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS).

We need to go above and beyond the routine pre-holiday safety briefings and POV safety checks and create a culture of safe thinking. Continue to focus on preventing vehicle accidents, but remember to mentor subordinates and peers on the aggressive use of risk management in all activities. Visit the Combat Readiness/Safety Center site and access the 2015 Spring/Summer Safety Campaign for a virtual tool box full of summer safety related videos, articles, and posters that will help keep all Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families safe. Click on the Spring/Summer campaign link at https://safety.army.mil.

Your safety is vital to the continued defense of our Nation. I'm counting on each of you to avoid unnecessary risks and keep safe as you enjoy this patriotic holiday weekend. Army Safe is Army Strong.

Serving to Heal...Honored to Serve!