Adjutant General’s Columbus Day Holiday Safety Message

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

SANDSTON, Va. — This weekend brings the observation of Columbus Day and a long holiday weekend for most of our personnel. Columbus Day commemorates the discovery of the New World as well as the spirit of exploration, and the holiday weekend is the first of the fall season. We must always keep safety as a primary consideration in everything we do, especially during long holiday weekends.Changes in temperatures and less daylight are just two of the seasonal changes that everyone should factor in as they make their plans.

Please be sure to get plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel of a car for a long trip and have scheduled breaks along the route. Consider using the Travel Risk Planning System at to access information on travel risk mitigation. For more specific tips on safe driving during the fall, please visit

If you plan to consume alcohol as part of your weekend activities, please do so responsibly. Know your limits and respect the fact that alcohol impairs your ability to drive, and mixing drinking and driving will lead to disastrous results.

This is also the time of year to begin thinking about winterizing vehicles, conducting preseason inspections of heating units, testing smoke detector batteries, draining gas from yard tools, and checking and insulating water pipes if necessary.

As you enjoy your holiday, please remember the men and women of the Virginia National Guard, and all the branches of the military, who are serving our country in locations all around the world. They are away from their families, friends and communities to defend the ideals of freedom, and we all should be thankful for their sacrifice and service.

Safety must always be top priority, because every Soldier, Airmen, member of the Virginia Defense Force, civilian employee and family member is a precious resource. We can’t do our mission without everyone working together as a team. We must all set the example by looking out for our “battle buddies,” whether they are friends, family or colleagues, and making sure they stay safe.

Best wishes to everyone for a fun and safe holiday weekend. Thanks for what you do in service to commonwealth and country.


Timothy P. Williams
Brigadier General, Virginia National Guard
The Adjutant General