Adjutant General’s 2015 4th of July Safety Message

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

SANDSTON, Va. — This weekend we will celebrate the birth of our nation over the long July 4th holiday weekend. This is a great time for us to pause and reflect on the freedoms we enjoy and the role our National Guard plays in defending those freedoms. This weekend is also a time for us to gather with friends and family to enjoy holiday activities like cookouts, parades and fireworks.

During these holiday festivities, it is crucial to remember safety in everything we do. Summer heat can take a toll during outdoor activities, so it is important to hydrate and wear sunscreen. Mixing alcohol with activities such a driving, boating or swimming is a recipe for disaster, so using a designated driver and enjoying in moderation are key. It wouldn’t be 4th of July without fireworks, but there are tremendous risks that come along with using them. For more information about fireworks safety, please visit http://www.armymwr.com/july4th-safety.aspx.

Unfortunately we face the reality of potential threats from extremist activity this weekend. While there are minimal indicators of possible violent activity, every Soldier, Airman, Virginia Defense Force member, civilian and family member must maintain heightened situational awareness and vigilance to help prevent or mitigate potential attacks.

The best mindset to have during the weekend is “See Something, Say Something.” If you observe any suspicious activity, please contact the Virginia Fusion Center Hotline 877-482-8477. You can also find more information at the Fusion Center’s web site at http://www.vsp.state.va.us/FusionCenter/ and download the “See Something. Send Something.” mobile phone app.

The same spirit of teamwork that makes us successful with our mission is what will help keep us all safe when we are off duty. Be smart, think before you act and look out for all the members of your team wither they are a fellow unit member, friend or relative.

Please remember during the holiday weekend that our Soldiers and Airmen, as well as members of our of our Armed Forces, are deployed in hazardous places all over the world to do their part to protect ideals of liberty and freedom we celebrate this weekend. We should also remember and thank the members of our law enforcement community protecting us here at home.

I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend. I greatly appreciate the tremendous service from every member of our team, both military and civilian. A special thanks as well to our families and employers because without their continued support, we would not be able to accomplish our mission.

v/r,

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
The 28th Adjutant General of Virginia