Tuesday, June 10, 2008

COMMENTARY >> Add some life to your fun

By Col. Jim Summers
By 189th Airlift Wing commander

There are plenty of “Don’ts” in this world, aren’t there? Don’t drink and drive. Don’t forget your helmet. Don’t forget your seatbelt. Don’t go swimming until an hour has passed after eating.

Parents, supervisors, first sergeants and commanders have been taking the fun out of life for years, right? Perhaps you should look at it this way: They’ve been adding life to your fun.

As a supervisor and a commander, I’ve heard all the excuses: “Colonel, I love to feel the wind blow through my hair as I ride my motorcycle through the Ozarks.”

Allow me to counter with: “Would you love the way the asphalt feels as it rips your aforementioned hair from your head as you skid along the pavement after an accident?” That’s why we wear helmets, and yes, I’ve got a motorcycle.

Another excuse I’ve heard: “Colonel, I don’t like feeling constricted, that’s why I don’t wear my seatbelt.”

Allow me to counter with: “Constricted, huh? What would you call lying in the floor of the crumpled heap you used to call your automobile, while the fire department extracts you with the Jaws of Life?” I’d call that more constrictive than a piece of material that crosses over your lap and chest and buckles into a receptacle by your seat.

Do you see the pattern here? Do you smell what I’m cookin’? Both of these examples drive home – pun intended – the importance of taking proper precautions for the activity you’re engaging in. Failing to do so could result in you not coming home at the end of the day.

We’re not trying to take the fun out of your life, we’re adding life to your fun. I want each of you to be able to enjoy all of the 101 Critical Days of Summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day – not just the first three or four.


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