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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On Monday, we will celebrate Labor Day and honor everyone who works hard to build and sustain our great nation. Labor Day weekend also marks the unofficial end of summer. As our families enjoy this long weekend and settle into the new routines of the 2023-2024 school year, we must emphasize safety in all we do.

Prior to the holiday weekend, leaders should stay engaged with every person in their formation. Ensure a risk-management mindset and discuss plans and protective measures for safe travel, outdoor recreation and activities, and motor and recreational vehicle operation. Look out for one another and stay connected.

Ensure you and any passengers are wearing seatbelts. Ensure you have required training and protective equipment while operating a motorcycle, recreational vehicle or watercraft. More information for watercraft operators in Missouri can be found here. Never operate any vehicle drowsy, distracted or impaired. Alcohol impairs vision, judgement and reaction time, and increases the risk of accidents or injury in every situation. If you are swimming, know your limits, rely on flotation devices and never swim alone.

Although autumn is approaching, we can still experience warm weather; remain cognizant of appropriate work-rest cycles. Factor in temperature, humidity and the rain forecast when planning outdoor activities. Be prepared for flash flooding and never attempt to cross streets covered in running water. Stay hydrated — water should be consumed before you get thirsty and at regular intervals. When outside in the heat, do not consume more than a quart and a half of water per hour on average.

With hunting season around the corner, take the time for training and for learning federal, state and installation laws, regulations, policies and procedures. Register firearms with the Directorate of Emergency Services prior to bringing them on post. Follow the fundamentals of firearm safety and store weapons in a safe, locked case or with a trigger lock. Never handle any weapon under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

We are very proud to serve with you, and we hope everyone has a restful and safe holiday weekend.

Victory Starts Here – Victory Through Skill!