By Sgt. Ricardo Branch, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsDecember 17, 2009
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Thousands of Soldiers in Hawaii are traveling across the country to visit loved ones, open presents and spend time with friends and family during this holiday season.
This time of the year, however, routinely sees an increase in safety-related accidents and domestic incidents across the military, prompting many services to educate their troops before extended time away from the workplace.
The 45th Sustainment Brigade prepared Soldiers to be safe before the start of the holidays during the unit's Safety Stand Down Day, Nov. 25, here. The training covered a multitude of topics, including drunk driving, domestic violence, safer sex and safety-related accidents.
The theme for the event was "tighten your shot group," and it was the message Lt. Col. Teresa Rae, battalion commander, Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sust. Bde., expressed to all Soldiers in attendance.
"We have Soldiers in our formation who are violating many of these areas (domestic violence, drunk driving, unsafe sex) and basically (hurting) their careers in the United States Army," she said. "If we reach just a couple of those Soldiers today, then we've gone above and beyond how we train our Soldiers to be safe."
During the safety day, Soldiers navigated a small obstacle course to experience the effects of drunk driving, listened to tales of local Hawaiians who lost their lives from domestic violence, and learned the risks of various sexually transmitted diseases.
"We've noticed a trend recently of incidents, so we want to inform the Soldiers, let them know we know what's going on," said Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Croteau, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 45th Sust. Bde. "They need to prepare and educate themselves before they embark on any long holiday plans."
Approximately 1,400 Soldiers learned to minimize risks and avoid common mistakes. They will embark in the next few weeks armed with the knowledge to be safe and enjoy the holiday season.
"The training has been going really well, actually," said Pvt. Javier Ruiz, 25th Transportation Co., SpecialAca,!E+Troops Battalion, 45thAca,!E+Sust. Bde. "Everyone is motivated, and we're learning a lot. Taking this time to educate ourselves is going to help a lot of Soldiers be safe over the holidays."