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Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2011

Maj. Gen. Robert Brown: Arrive Alive and Enjoy the Downtime

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Arrive Alive and Enjoy the Downtime

The upcoming Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays will provide us all with ample time to relax, spend time with Family, and enjoy fall festivities. We mark Nov. 11 as a day to remember the sacrifices that our past, present and future Soldiers have and will endure. This day is also for the Families of our veterans — who have valiantly kept the home fires burning through 10 years of persistent conflict. To our veterans, the fallen and their Families: We appreciate all you have done and continue to do on behalf of our Army and a grateful nation.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and will be here before you know it. For more than 140 years, Americans have celebrated the last Thursday of November as a time to give thanks for blessings past and present. Many of you will be preparing to cook feasts and visit with Family. This is a time to gather and enjoy the company of friends and Family, while also getting some much-needed downtime.

Traditionally, November is a busy month for Families. While you’re making holiday plans, please keep safety a top priority. I urge you to anticipate and plan for increased road traffic and inclement weather.

Whatever your plans may include, maintain your situational awareness, drive defensively, and plan ahead. Leaders, remind Soldiers of the following best practices for traveling:

• Limit distractions in vehicles while traveling — especially in cars equipped with electronic devices, including cell phones, video games, and global positioning systems.

• Ensure all passengers are buckled up and children are in age and weight-appropriate safety seats. • Allow plenty of travel time to diminish the impulse to speed.

• Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather.

• Don’t drink and drive. Even moderate consumption of wine or beer impairs reaction time and driving judgment.

• Wear all required personal protective equipment while riding a motorcycle.

• If you are traveling more than 100 miles, Soldiers are required to go online and complete the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS), https://trips.safety.army.mil/ako_auth/TRIPS/default.aspx.

Patti and I hope that all of you have a safe holiday. Our enemy is terrorism, our goal is freedom and dignity for all, so as you gather Family around you, please do not forget your brothers and sisters in arms standing guard today. This season we celebrate and thank those who keep our freedom safe. One Force, One Fight! SAFETY All the Way!

— Maj. Gen. Robert Brown Commanding General

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