Each November we have the opportunity to observe our Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays -- which bring with them both celebration and risk. This Veterans Day we honor those men and women who have defended America's freedom for over 237 years. We celebrate their heroism and sacrifices on behalf of our Nation.

Our uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving follows closely after Veterans Day. On Thanksgiving members of the Army family will sit down to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives with family and friends. Please take time to remember for those who are absent from the dinner tables.

Many of our military, civilians, and their Families will use these holiday weekends to travel outside the local area visiting relatives and friends or enjoy an Autumn vacation. Commanders and supervisors must ensure that our military members and civilians are informed on the potential hazards during these long weekends. Commanders will conduct safety briefings prior to these holiday weekends, to include discussion on the Battle Buddy System, safe alcohol consumption, safety driving tips, fatigue avoidance, and seat belt usage at a minimum.

I remind all Soldiers that use of the TRiPS on-line POV risk assessment tool is mandatory for all personnel on leave, pass, or TDY. I also encourage our other Service members and civilian employees to use it. The TRiPS tools may be found at https://safety.army.mil/home/. This is a valuable tool that can help to save lives.

As we go into the long holiday weekends this November, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your contributions to our important mission, for your untiring support of Soldiers, Civilians and Families, and for your continuing service to this nation. I want everyone to return to work safe and secure after these holiday weekends.

MG, US Army