Commander's Corner: Remember holiday safety, upcoming NSI

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert E. Suminsby Jr.
  • 377th Air Base Wing
Holiday safety - I don't think it's ever possible to hit on it enough. I know that many of you will be leaving the area before my next Commander's Corner is put to print, so let me hit on it some more before you take off.

We need every one of you to return from the holidays safe and sound. If you're in the 377th Air Base Wing or the 498th Armament System Wing, we need you at 100 percent for the upcoming Nuclear Surety Inspection.

If you're in the 58th Special Operations Wing, we need you to keep Hercs, Helos, and Opsreys in the air, and to keep students flowing out of the pipeline.

If you're in the Air Force Research Laboratories, we need you on the job to make sure we've still got cutting edge technology a decade from now.

Wherever you work, you get the picture. Each of you holds an invaluable talent, which we cannot afford to lose.

As you start decorating for the holidays, make sure you don't create new hazards. If you're aiming for the Clark W. Griswold Neighborhood Beautification Award (like my neighbor, Colonel Transue), be sure you don't invite a fire by plugging two kilowatts of lighting into one old, frayed extension cord.

If you're going to be traveling for the holidays, plan your trip smartly and know when you're going to take your breaks. Rushing to get home won't help if you fall asleep at the wheel and go off the freeway. Spending a few extra bucks to stop at a hotel and get a good night's sleep will pay for itself when you arrive at your destination well-rested and in one piece.

While you're preparing your car for your road trip, remember the tragic events of a few weeks ago when a husband was forced out of his car and into the wilderness to find help for his family. Prepare yourself for the worst environment you're going to be traveling through. If you're heading north, remember to pack boots, gloves, jackets and anything else that you may find handy if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road in freezing temperatures.

When you arrive at your destination, or even if you plan to stay in the local area, don't check your common sense at the door. If you're out enjoying the holiday season and happen to have one too many drinks, don't get behind the wheel and drive! Call a friend, your wingman, call your supervisor, or call Kirtland Against Drunk Driving; just don't get behind the wheel of that car.

I also want to touch on holiday safety for your wallet. The holidays are a great time to give gifts to family and friends, but we have to remember to stay within a budget. Taking on a big chunk of debt is no way to begin a new year.

Sometimes we just have to say "no" to the 52 inch high-definition television and remember to live within our means.

Whatever your plans for the holidays, have a safe and joyous holiday. Reconnect with family, recharge your batteries, and come back with the same commitment that has made this such a great team all year!