12/25/05 — Responsible alcohol use theme of Commander's Call

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Responsible alcohol use theme of Commander's Call

By Turner Walston
Published in News on December 25, 2005 2:01 AM

Responsible alcohol use was the theme of this year's 4th Fighter Wing Commander's Call at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

1st Lt. Devin Robinson was the host of Thursday's show at the base theater, which took a "Late Show" format, featuring jokes, guests and music. Four shows were held throughout the day to address all 4th Fighter Wing airmen.

The first guest appearance at the Commander's Call was made by Hal Howard, owner of Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep. Howard relayed two stories of drunken driving accidents that he said profoundly affected him, and encouraged the airmen to behave responsibly.

Next, Tim Edwards of 4th Fighter Wing Safety was introduced as the "Most Unsafe Person at Wing Safety." Edwards appeared to be severely injured, with what looked like shards of glass protruding from made-up wounds. Robinson explained that Edwards was not in the habit of wearing a seat belt. He then projected videos of crash tests, stressing the importance of seat belt use.

"It's what it's designed to do," Robinson said. "Just take two seconds and click that seat belt."

Master Sgt. Troy Harris of Life Skills discussed the "0013=4"' guideline introduced by the Air Force.

"It's a new Air Force program," Harris explained. The idea behind it is for "zero underage drinking, zero DUIs, no more than one drink per hour and no more than three drinks per night, for the 4th Fighter Wing," he said. The program is an overall concept to encourage responsible alcohol use.

Sr. Airman J.T. Jordan performed "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy," by Garth Brooks. Joining Jordan on lead guitar was Col. Mike Holmes, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing.

Goldsboro police Chief Tim Bell told airmen that driving while impaired charges were up this year to 390 from 342 in 2004, although there have been fewer accidents. Although drunken drivers might get lucky and make it home safely on one occasion, "what you're going to do is roll the dice," he said.

Robinson reminded airmen of the base's designated driver hotline, which will pick up those who are not able to drive for a safe return home. The number is 722-3333.

"No matter how drunk you are, you should be able to mash four 3s," he said.

Mayor Al King showed off photos of his car collection. "I don't go fast all the time," he said.

"How much does that thing top out at?" Robinson asked, referring to a picture of the mayor's Porsche 911 Carrera 4S.

"I don't know," King responded with a laugh.

"If he can drive his Porsche 35 in Goldsboro, you guys can drive your Hondas 35," Robinson told the airmen.

King implored the airmen to obey traffic laws and to think beyond themselves when making choices.

"Don't be selfish," he said, "it's not about you."

"You're a part of the greatest fighter wing on planet Earth," King said. "We in the city of Goldsboro appreciate you more than you know, and we want you to be safe."

Holmes rounded out the show, telling the airmen that the key to alcohol use was responsibility.

"Adding the word responsibility to what we're talking about means that it's not just about you," he said. "The responsibility means that you think about other people. I want to see you all come back safe."

Robinson said the "Late Show" format was employed to reach the target audience of airmen ages 18 to 25.

"We wanted to communicate a style that would involve that age, and reach them where they are," he said. "We want to see all of them back after the holidays."