As 101 Critical Days of Summer end, continue to focus on safety every day

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children have already started school; Labor Day is almost here, an indicator that summer is drawing to a close. 

For many parents, back to school may be considered the most wonderful time of the year. With school back in session, remember to watch your speed not only in school zones but in housing areas as well. There are many bicyclists, skateboarders, scooters, and roller bladers as well as children walking along the roads. Stop for school buses and don't pass them until the stop sign on the side of the bus has been pulled back. Even then, pass buses slowly because you never know when a child may be crossing.

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the day to celebrate Labor Day each year. Labor Day is the one day when we stop to honor the work that has made our nation great. The American workforce is the edge we as a Nation have - the innovation, dedication, and energy our people put into what they do is central to what makes the United States the greatest nation on earth.

Labor Day also marks the end to the 101 Critical Days of Summer. As of Aug. 28, there have been 18 deaths Air Force wide, and none in Space Command. At Vandenberg, there have been six Class C mishaps. Class C mishaps are defined as "...a nonfatal injury that causes any loss of time from work beyond the day or shift on which it occurred." 

According to DOD tables, each lost workday can cost Vandenberg at least $375. While the monetary cost is important, the impact on our ability to execute the mission as a team is impacted, and the loss of any Airman - even for a day - is why we emphasize the importance of safety each and every day.

The bottom line is that whatever the time or place, safety needs to be at the forefront of our minds and be an integral part of everything we do.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend - you've all earned it. Please continue to focus on safety; I want to see every one of our Airmen - blue suit, AF civilian, and contractor - here on Tuesday. Thanks again for everything you do every day.