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Road rage never acceptable for military

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The citizens of this great nation have placed a great deal of trust in the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen currently serving as members of the United States military.

As a result of that trust, servicemembers are expected to maintain a high standard of conduct and military bearing, which is drilled into servicemembers at Basic Military Training or other services' equivalent training.

That high standard of conduct is expected regardless of duty status, the actions of other drivers or the temperature outside.

Summer is here, temperatures are rising and driving a car in the heat can make drivers irritable. It seems like accidents are caused every day outside the base by drivers making reckless choices. However, that's no excuse for drivers to lose their tempers, and military drivers, being held to that higher standard of conduct, should know better.

"Statistically speaking, the car is the deadliest weapon in America," said Chief Master Sgt. Ben Roberson, 460th Security Forces Squadron. "Losing your cool while handling such a deadly weapon makes you a danger to yourself and everyone around you."

Drivers are human beings, and humans make mistakes. Whether a driver fails to yield the right-of-way when pulling out of a parking space, brushes a little too close to another vehicle for comfort or nearly causes an accident by making an illegal U-turn across a left turn lane, it is important to remember if you lose your temper, you are just as wrong as the driver who made the first mistake.

"Screeching to a stop, jumping out of your car and chasing down the other vehicle is never the right thing to do," Chief Roberson said. "It's not safe, and it puts you in danger of making an even more serious mistake - one which might cost lives."

Col. Clint Crosier, 460th Space Wing commander, presented his slogan of "Not One More" death from suicide or safety mishap in the wing earlier this year. One of his concerns was the large number of safety-related fatalities in Air Force Space Command, the majority of which were vehicle-related. Succumbing to road rage puts you at risk of becoming just "one more" fatality briefing - a needless, preventable loss that we as the wing are trying so hard to avoid.

Don't be a statistic - keep a cool head and drive safely.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are having trouble managing road rage or other stress, Buckley Air Force Base has resources to help. The 460th Medical Group Mental Health flight is available at 720-847-WELL. The Buckley Chapel can be reached at 720-847-GOD1, or by calling the command post and asking for the on-call chaplain. The Airman and Family Readiness Center offers military family readiness consultants at 720-847-6681, and Military OneSource is available 24 hours each day at 1-800-342-9647. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
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