Buckley remembers Airman killed by drunk driver
By Master Sgt. J. LaVoie, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 15, 2010
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- During an annual tree lighting, Team Buckley gathered with family and friends of Senior Airman Kristopher Mansfield, who was killed by a drunk driver, in order to remember him and urge Airmen not to drink and drive.
Airman Mansfield was assigned to the 460th Space Communications Squadron in 2004, when he was struck by a drunk driver and died. Since then, his parents have championed don't drink and drive efforts at Buckley and around the community. A reminder of this is a sign located next to the decorated tree urging people not to drink and drive this season.
"We see signs every day, no parking, stop or do not enter. Why do we choose to follow a directive or not? What makes us choose to do the right thing or get a ticket, violate security or worse," said Craig Mansfield, Airman Mansfield's father. This sign says please don't drink and drive. How do we make people listen to this sign? This sign and tree are all we have left of our son, so remember him and please don't drink and drive."
Ms. Legg, Airman Mansfield's mother, is asking Airmen to go a step further and sign a pledge not to drink and drive. Though she isn't asking people to take the pledge specifically in Airman Manfield's name however, because "10 thousand victims died last year because of drunk drivers, there were 12 thousand victims the year Kris died, so who's name do you put on the pledge?"
"We always remember that Kris joined the Air Force because he wanted his life to make a difference," said Julie Legg, Airman Mansfield's mother. "He wanted his life to make a difference, through your words and actions you help ensure his dream comes true."
The evening was closed by comments by Lt. Col. Kelly Kanapaux, 460th Space Communications Squadron. He asked that "each time you walk by the tree, stop and think about the dangers of drinking and driving and the tragedy that ended one Airman's life."
Any member of Team Buckley that ever needs a ride can call Airmen Against Drunk Driving at 720-847-RIDE.