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Whatever you do, do NOT read this article

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- OK ... I admit it. You got me. I'm busted.

You would think I would be embarrassed to use such a shameless ploy, totally designed to get you to read this article.

You would think I would be ashamed of this headline, and by trying to trick members of Team Patrick-Cape with such a sophomoric gimmick like this. Just to get you to read another article about safety as we approach the July 4 holidays coming up next weekend!

Well, the truth of the matter is I am anything but ashamed or embarrassed.

The truth of the matter is I'd do just about anything possible to make our folks wake up and truly understand how one second of irresponsible behavior can lead to a lifetime of regret and sorrow.

The truth of the matter is I'd give anything to have leaders at all levels (throughout all our mission partner commands) stop with the perfunctory, check-the-block safety messages -- and spend more time hammering home the point that safety is no accident.

To paraphrase and old proverb: "Better a thousand times careful than once dead."

Team, I get it: I really do.

For many of you (and this is the sad part) "safety messages" tend to fall on deaf ears because "you've heard all this before," and "this can't happen to me."

Well, I hate to burst your bubble but these holiday numbers tend to say otherwise, between the high number of fireworks-related injuries and auto accidents and fatalities, just to name a few.

As a matter of fact, according to a report published by ABC News, Independence Day has the second highest rate of alcohol related crashes -- 41 percent -- eclipsed only by New Year's Eve holiday at 49 percent.

The bottom line is you don't even have to be at fault to be in danger, so driving defensively becomes even more important with so many potentially inebriated drivers on our roads and highways next weekend.

So team, be aware of your surroundings and slow down; taking an extra five or 10 minutes to get to your destination won't kill anyone. But it may save your life or the life of your loved ones.

And thanks for not paying attention to the headline!

Stay Focused Team. And stay safe!