Make Memorial Day weekend a safe one

| May 20, 2016 | 0 Comments
Altendorf

Altendorf

Dr. Christine T. Altendorf, Director
Installation Management Command-Pacific Region

 

Memorial Day is an important holiday to remember those who died while serving in America’s armed forces. This weekend, there are public and private services throughout the state, including thousands of floating lanterns launched at Honolulu’s Ala Moana beach at sunset. I hope you’ll take the time on Memorial Day to reflect on those Soldiers who sacrificed the most.

This holiday is the first long weekend leading into the summer season, and many Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians will take advantage of the opportunity to visit recreational areas.

The usual hazards associated with driving and recreational activities will multiply due to the greater numbers of people using the roads on a holiday weekend. Accordingly, special emphasis must be given to the use of seatbelts or, if you’re a motorcyclist, full personal protective equipment (helmet, gloves, boots, etc.) Incorporate risk management in your weekend planning.

Thousands of ceremonial floating candlelit lanterns will remember the fallen, Monday evening, Memorial Day, at Ala Moana Beach. (Photo courtesy of Shinnyo-en Hawaii)

Thousands of ceremonial floating candlelit lanterns will remember the fallen, Monday evening, Memorial Day, at Ala Moana Beach. (Photo courtesy of Shinnyo-en Hawaii)

Additionally, I’d like to remind everyone of the risks of fatigue if flying to the mainland and then immediately driving a long distance. I suggest a countermeasure of taking a 15 minute break to getout of the car and stretch after every two hours of driving.

I urge all leaders to assure the safest possible weekend for our Army Hawaii ohana by ensuring everyone discusses holiday safety. Soldiers should use the buddy system and practice situational awareness to keep themselves and their families safe. Exercise personal responsibility in your actions through good judgment and appropriate personal conduct; alcohol should be consumed in moderation.

Look out for each other, especially those who are alone and far from home. Soldiers and family members with individual trauma don’t have to feel alone. There is support, here in Hawaii or wherever you may travel. Communication and awareness is the key to suicide prevention. You may not know when someone is having problems, but you may be close enough to Ask, Care and Escort.

Also, be alert to sexual harassment and assault. Last month was Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, but that kind of behavior is intolerable in the Army, regardless of the month. Long holiday weekends don’t get a free pass — sexual assault damages good discipline and order, and shatters lives. Don’t let it happen, not in your squad, not in our Army.

Families visited the post cemetery throughout the day.

Families visit the post cemetery throughout Memorial Day.

 

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Category: Installation Management Command, Leadership, News, Observances

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