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Be Thankful; Be 'Extra' Safe This Weekend

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team Patrick-Cape,

I don't have to tell you this has been a very troubling and trying year for many of you, for our "Civilian Airmen" who had to deal with a lot of things they had no control over ... and more recently, for our civilian and uniformed members who are grieving the loss of teammates in 3 of our units.

Still, in the face of it all, you persevere -- and I truly hope you are able to find things to be thankful for as we take time to decompress and enjoy the long holiday weekend.

Many of us can be thankful for our families, our friends, our pets, or just the fact that we work, live and play along the beautiful Space Coast of Florida. The "thankful" list is as long as it is personal for all of us.

But let's be honest; not every person or Airmen on Team Patrick-Cape has the same level of "comfort" when it comes to the holiday season.

It could be a first-termer who is away from home for the first time. Loneliness can be a tough thing to deal with.

It could be a military family dealing with the added stress and worry about having a deployed spouse gone over the holiday season.

It could be any number of things.

What I want all of you to do - and it matters not what your job or duty title happens to be - is to be on the lookout for any of our team members who could use a little comforting over this weekend and the holidays just around the corner.

Invite them over. Ask them if they want to go for a walk, a run, if they want to go shopping. Anything. Just don't take the ostrich approach and bury your head in the sand.

It's truly amazing what one kind act or word can make on a person's attitude. Be the person who does that. Please.

Here it comes my friends. It's your safety message and it's as serious as serious gets.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving weekend is one of the deadliest weekends on record in the United States.

I am aware many of you are looking forward to spending much-deserved time with loved ones and statistics tell us more than 90% of you will be going there by automobile.

Please make sure you follow these common sense rules. Always remember that above all else, "safety is an attitude."

* Think safety, Act safely!
* Be well rested and stay alert
* Avoid distractions such as cell phones
* Observe speed limits
* Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before leaving for any trip
* Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full
* Buckle up, slow down, don't drive impaired. Designate a driver who won't drink
* Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers
* Be respectful of motorists and follow the rules of the road
* If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible

Team, please enjoy yourselves and be safe. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you back here after Thanksgiving.

Stay Focused, Sharks!