Sergeant starts SADD program on post

| September 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

Pfc. James Florence (left), FSC, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, prepares to put a pie in the face of Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward, 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, during a SADD fundraiser at Schofield Barracks. (Sgt. Kerrilee Fowler | 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — It’s 1:40 a.m., on a Saturday when Sgt. Kerrilee Fowler, operations noncommissioned officer, Forward Support Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, awakes to the sound of her cell phone.

The voice on the other end is a Soldier who tells her that he went out drinking and doesn’t want to drive home drunk. Without hesitation, Fowler writes down the address, gets in her car and picks up the Soldier.

This might sound like a normal occurrence for a leader, but Fowler isn’t in the Soldier’s chain-of-command. In fact, the Soldier isn’t even in her same unit and she has never met him before. But for Fowler, this happens every weekend and she is more than happy to answer the call.

“Sgt. Fowler mentioned that she wanted to start a Soldiers Against Drunk Driving (SADD) program while we were in Mosul, Iraq,” said 1st Sgt. Pete Leao, FSC, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. “As history tells us, drunk driving is a major offense, especially among Soldiers returning from a deployment.”

With the blessing of her chain-of-command, Fowler started a SADD program, here, in March. 

“It gives Soldiers the opportunity to reach out for help – (for) free – with no repercussions from the chain-of-command,” Fowler said. “It allows leaders (to have) the time to spend with their family and friends, and gives volunteers the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of not only the Soldiers, but the whole community.”

Volunteers man two cell phones every Friday through Sunday, including holiday weekends, from 11 p.m.- 4 a.m. If a Soldier or spouse has been drinking and has no other choice but to drive home intoxicated, they can call SADD for a ride back to their house or barracks, with no repercussion.

“The program is not here to take Soldiers to the place they are going to drink, and it’s not for a bunch of Soldiers that plan on going out to party and have SADD in mind as their free ride back,” Fowler said. “The program is to help Soldiers make the right decision by choosing not to drink and drive.”

However, there are several problems that make it hard for SADD to reach its full potential.

Currently, the program only has eight volunteers. Since Fowler has opened the program to all of Schofield Barracks, manning the phone lines isn’t the only hindrance.

“There isn’t any special funding for the program,” Fowler said.

Currently the SADD program is being funded through donations and fundraisers. One of its biggest donations was $100 given by a Solider from the 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. The rest of the costs come out of the volunteer’s pockets.

“When this started, I used my own money to buy the two cell phones, a GPS and two buckets,” Fowler said, with a little laugh. “The buckets are really important because I don’t want anyone to ruin one of the volunteer’s cars.”

Along with donations and volunteers, Fowler is also looking for somewhere to create a SADD headquarters.

“Our program is looking for an empty office or room to use, so the volunteers have a place to go and hang out while they are waiting (for) Soldiers to call,” Fowler said. “I know we could get a lot more Soldiers willing to volunteer for this program if we had our own area.”

Call 377-0549 or 224-1907 if you need a SADD ride. Anyone interested in helping the SADD program can e-mail kerrilee.ross@us.army.mil.

Category: News, Safety, Single Soldiers

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