May Chief's Concerns Published April 23, 2014 By Chief Master Sgt. Clyde Boyer 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- We celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May, a day off for most of us. It's connected to the first part of summer vacation. Many of us will be traveling, getting together with family and friends or just relaxing in your own way. On this Memorial Day weekend, we honor our Veterans who gave their lives to protect the liberties afforded all Americans. They did not celebrate war, but they stepped forward and answered when America called. Generations of brave Americans have shouldered the burden of defending freedom, so we might continue living in a free and democratic society. I ask you to take a moment to remember them and all those who served to protect our nation, our vitizens and our way of life. Commanders and supervisors must work diligently to protect our service members, civilians and families that continue to serve. Please prepare your subordinates for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday by conducting safety briefings that include the following discussions. Highway safety: This includes seat belt use, fatigue avoidance and the consequences of drinking alcohol and driving. Discuss travel planning to include the requirement for adequate rest stops and avoiding late-night driving. Highlight the importance of using designated drivers. Many accidents are caused by distracted drivers using cell phones while driving. Always use hands- free devices. And finally, before leaving on vacation, have your vehicle checked to make sure it is safe to drive. Outdoor safety: Emphasize use of battle buddies when attending parties and other social events - while making a special effort to ensure new unit members receive proper sponsorship from our best personnel. Warm weather brings on new seasonal hazards: sunburn, swimming in unmarked areas and mixing alcohol and swimming. Operate charcoal grills only outdoors. Never operate a motorized watercraft without the proper training and right equipment on board. Please enjoy this holiday weekend in remembrance of all American military personnel who have died for our country in all of our wars and conflicts.