Leaders issue joint Labor Day holiday message

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The Air Force's top leaders remind the entire Air Force family to minimize safety risks this weekend and beyond in a Labor Day message.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy issued the following message:

"On this Labor Day weekend, we thank you for your service and hard work. As you celebrate the holiday, please remember to carefully evaluate the risks and hazards associated with holiday weekend activities.

Safety affects us all. Thirty-nine Airmen have been lost in off-duty mishaps this year, including 25 in motor vehicle accidents. Others were lost to drowning, all-terrain vehicle crashes, unintended weapon discharges and other preventable mishaps.

These losses, some the result of reckless behavior such as excessive speed, irresponsible alcohol use, aggressive driving, failing to use proper safety gear, inattention, or indifference, could have been averted. Additionally, we have lost 66 members of our Air Force family to suicides this year. Certainly, all of these losses are tragic, and we would challenge each of you to remain vigilant and committed wingmen.

Your family, friends and fellow Airmen are counting on you to be there for them. Set a standard of zero tolerance for reckless behavior, for yourself, your loved ones and your wingmen. And, as you enjoy the remaining days of warm weather and the company of friends and family, please remember that safety requires conscious effort. It is no accident."

This joint letter to Airmen in addition to other senior viewpoints can be found in Viewpoints.