Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — Two recently redeployed Soldiers decided to take a joy ride along Oahu’s North Shore.
However, it had been raining, and one of the motorcyclists ran over a reflective speed bump and lost control of his bike.
Shelly Leslie, chief, Outdoor Recreation, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, was driving along the road that day and saw the crash.
She and two other motorists, both Soldiers, frantically tried to lift the motorcycle off the injured Soldier’s chest.
They succeeded and kept him stable just long enough for the ambulance to arrive and transport him to the hospital, where he later died.
Leslie shared this story with Soldiers of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, during their annual Safety Stand Down Day, here, April 19.
The day was set aside to teach and re-visit ideas and important safety lessons that every Soldier should keep in mind, on and off duty.
“This is for every Soldier, from the chief of staff and our deputy commander to our lowest privates,” said Capt. Kristin Tashma, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th STB. “It is absolutely paramount that we do everything safely and conduct ourselves with awareness.”
The day’s topics included suicide awareness and prevention, outdoor recreation and water safety, motorcycle safety and awareness, and hearing safety and conservation. Audiology staff fitted Soldiers with the latest hearing protection.
“It’s critical that everyone come to these events,” Tashma said. “I know a lot of people say that they have had this training before, but reminders and refresher training are invaluable.”
Although this is an annual training requirement, Tashma, like other Army leaders, believes it is a year-round task that Soldiers and the command must focus on constantly.
“We have a dedicated safety stand down at least once a year, but we have periodic safety training throughout the year, as well,” Tashma said. “We will hit an important, prevalent topic once a quarter.
“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” she concluded. “The Soldiers are the most important of our Army and this unit. We will continue to make a dedicated effort to keeping each and every one of them safe while on duty and off.”