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Taking motto to heart: 'I can save my own life'

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The holiday season is a time to celebrate and appreciate the little things: health, family and even the occasional mug of hot chocolate. However, decisions made during this season of festivity, whether good or bad, can impact lives for years to come.

The months from November to January usually see a sharp increase in alcohol related incidents and arrests for driving under the influence. This holiday season, it is important to celebrate and enjoy the company of loved ones responsibly.

"During the holidays, people feel the increased desire to celebrate," said Tech. Sgt. Regina Scott, 36th Security Forces Squadron flight chief and director of Airmen Against Drunk Driving. "Along with this celebratory desire comes the desire to consume alcohol. The thought of hanging with friends and drinking, especially when we are away from our family and loved ones, helps many people through the season. This desire only becomes a problem when we do not drink responsibly."

A sure-fire way to stay safe this season is to take one of Andersen Air Force Base's mottos to heart: 'I can save my own life.'

"One of the most effective ways to prevent DUIs and ARIs not only during the holidays, but every day in general, is based on Airmen making the decision to do the right thing," Sergeant Scott said. "This involves not only knowing it is against the law to drink and drive, but acknowledging the fact that when we make the wrong decision, we are not the only ones who pay the price."

When primary plans fail, programs and initiatives are in place to ensure Airmen not only enjoy holiday parties and get-togethers, but make it back to their loved ones safely.

"Airmen should keep a unit recall roster on them at all times," Sergeant Scott said. "At least one, if not more of the people listed on the roster will be willing to give them a ride home. If Airmen plan accordingly and put aside money before the night begins, there are taxi cabs available as well. Lastly, AADD operates every Friday and Saturday night. Volunteer Airmen are willing to pick up wingmen and ensure their safe return home."

In addition to alternate forms of transportation, members of Team Andersen have dedicated themselves to being available for Airmen who struggle with alcohol, or would like to become more educated on how to prevent future abuse.

"It is common knowledge that one of the most prevalent side-effects of drinking is impaired judgment," said Capt. Dorcia Tucker, Andersen Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program manager. "The ADAPT program should not be viewed with a negative stigma or as a punishment. ADAPT exists to educate Airmen and their families about alcohol and the negative effects that coincide with alcohol abuse. Education is the best defense against abuse."

The holidays often provide an opportunity to reflect on what is important. During this time, it is also crucial to remember responsibility, and promises made to loved ones near, and far away.

"When we make the wrong decision, we are not the only ones who pay the price," Sergeant Scott said. "Our wrong decisions impact our lives, our careers, our family, our unit and our mission. We must be mission-minded at all times, even during the holiday season."