Col. Lakicia Stokes, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos commander, reaches to tie a red ribbon on the antenna of her car, signifying her support to Tie One On for Safety. (U.S. Army photo by Samantha Harms, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Col. Lakicia Stokes, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos commander, reaches to tie a red ribbon on the antenna of her car, signifying her support to Tie One On for Safety. (U.S. Army photo by Samantha Harms, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Officials and community partners came together Nov. 1 to mark the beginning of the Tie One On for Safety Campaign.

The program, established in 1986 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is an annual nationwide observance to remind people not to drink and drive. The campaign runs until Jan 1.

“It is this time of year that we see an increase in accidents and fatalities attributed to drinking and driving,” Ron Smiley, prevention coordinator for Fort Cavazos’ Army Substance Abuse Program, shared during the ceremony. “This specific campaign motivates and encourages the community to participate by tying a red ribbon on their automobile, onto their sideview mirror, to show their support.

“The red ribbons signify the blood of those victims who have lost their lives to these horrific events during the past year,” he continued. “Our campaign focuses on raising awareness and promoting alternate means of transportation, like rideshares, taxis and designated drivers.”

Representatives from MADD, the Texas Department for Public Safety, Copperas Cove Police Department, Harker Heights Police Department and Killeen Police Department were in attendance, along with the Fort Cavazos command team.

“On behalf of the III Armored Corps and Fort Cavazos Commanding General Lieutenant General Sean Bernabe, welcome. Today, as we have our special guests here, we just want to say thank you for being here, for your support of our Tie One On for Safety campaign,” Col. Lakicia Stokes, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos commander, shared during her opening remarks. “As previously mentioned, our Tie One On for Safety campaign is a nationwide awareness campaign that reminds people to not drink and drive as we all know. This is the time of the year. The holiday season is when we see an increase in accidents and fatalities due to drinking and driving.

“Leaders must also ensure that their Soldiers are informed on those alternate means of transportations,” she continued. “All Soldiers must ensure that if they need a driver to either talk to their battle buddy and ask for a ride or use these alternate means of transportations. They must do it for themselves, for their family, for their team and for that other driver. I am humbled today and am showing my support for this very important safety awareness campaign by tying a ribbon on my vehicle and I know that team Cavazos will do the same.”

Pledging her support to the cause, Stokes signed the proclamation and then tied a red ribbon on her vehicle antenna.