SAN ANTONIO (August 24, 2015) -- Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is often celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.This weekend, millions of drivers will take to the highway for one final summer getaway, making it one of the busiest holiday travel weekends of the year. Make sure you check the road conditions and your own vehicle's road-worthiness before getting on the highway. Have a driving plan that includes periodic rest stops. If you are driving, put those handheld devices down! Never drink and drive.If your destination is a beach, lake or other water recreation area, check the weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day. Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area, supervised by a lifeguard. Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water, and always stay within arm's reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water. Life jackets and flotation devices should be part of your gear and worn as required/mandated.Whether at home or on a sandy shore, many of you will fire up the grill this weekend. A few simple steps can prevent disaster or injury, such as keeping the grill away from the house, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. Always keep children and pets away from the grill, and never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.Be sure to check out your local Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office for events and activities on or near Army installations. You're sure to find great activities for the whole Family, often free or at a good discount. Regardless of where you go or how you celebrate Labor Day, we want you to enjoy this well-deserved time off, recharge yourself, and return to your duty station safe. CSM Hartless and I are extremely proud of each of you and the work you do in support of our Army, our Nation, our Soldiers and Families, and our installations.Support and Defend! Army Strong!LTG David Halverson & CSM Jeffrey S. Hartless