Garrison Commander Col. Hollie Martin

Independence Day, July 4, is one of the proudest observances in our nation’s history. I hope you will take a moment over the upcoming holiday weekend to reflect on all the personal freedoms and opportunities provided to us by the struggles and sacrifices made at a time when independence as a nation was just a dream.

Every member of Team Lee is encouraged to celebrate our nation’s 244th birthday safely and responsibly. As you enjoy this well-deserved break, remember to remain safe and vigilant at all times. Plan your activities in advance, identify risks and take the necessary precautions to make this an accident-free 4th of July holiday for yourself, your family and friends.

Alcohol does not mix with operating any kind of motor vehicle. Always use your seatbelts and remain distraction-free while driving on- or off-post. Wear proper protective equipment and personal flotation devices while boating and never swim alone. Doing all the right things decreases the likelihood of a tragic incident, and it can significantly increase the chances of surviving an accident should one occur. Also remember to stay hydrated during these hot summer days and plan out your work or play activities to include rest periods.

Personal fireworks are not allowed on military installations. This includes sparklers, pinwheels and “fountains.” Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air or fire projectiles into the air are specifically prohibited in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If out-of-state, it is your responsibility to know the local laws, and if personal fireworks are permitted, to adhere to device instructions and warning labels.

Celebrate the birth of this great nation with pride and responsibility. Unfortunately, the annual FMWR-sponsored Fourth at the Fort festivities had to be canceled this year due to the threat of COVID-19 and the necessary safeguards to keep community members from spreading the virus and getting sick. Use common sense and sound decisions when making alternative arrangements to celebrate. Make this an accident-free holiday.

Remember, Army Safe is Army Strong.