By Brig. Gen. Timothy Edens and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Stidley, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, Fort Rucker, AlaNovember 1, 2012
Our veterans occupy a special place in the hearts of Americans. Nowhere else on earth are a country's armed forces as revered and as trusted as here in the United States. That trust has come at a price, however, and this Veterans Day we honor not only our fallen heroes, but also the daily sacrifice you and your Families make in service to our nation. Your continued dedication to the cause of freedom ensures the story of every veteran will be heard and honored for generations to come. Thank you for a hard job well done!
During fiscal 2012, Army accidental fatalities fell to their lowest point in more than a decade. A month into fiscal 2013, fatality numbers are significantly lower than last year's. Obviously, leaders and Soldiers are embracing a safety culture and looking out for one another like never before. This long weekend provides us a perfect opportunity to keep that momentum going and continue translating safety theories into real-world practice.
Before you release your Soldiers for the long weekend, think about what you're going to say in their safety brief. Think beyond the typical "don't drink and drive" routine and turn those few minutes into a hands-on learning experience. Vehicle and motorcycle inspections are a great way for Soldiers to learn about driving safety, and role-playing scenarios portraying risky situations are perhaps the best avenue for buddies to learn to take care of each other. Be creative and think outside the traditional five-minute safety spiel -- you'll be surprised how receptive your Soldiers are to new ideas.
Finally, honor your Soldiers, your Family, your buddies and yourself by staying safe this Veterans Day. America's history is still being written, and you are an irreplaceable part of it. Don't let a preventable accident cut your story short.
Have a wonderful Veterans Day!
Army Safe is Army Strong!