Story by Felicia Martinez, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
YUMA, AZ - From riding a motorcycle to rock climbing, those are just some of the activities local marines received training on at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
In preparation for the military's 101 Days of Summer, a safety event was held to teach marines how to stay safe as they participate in activities outside of their day to day marine life.
Fern Blackburn with the 3D Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Miramar says, "We recognized through our stats and through reality that marines were hurting themselves and dying throughout the summer. The Marine Corps and the Navy have always put on a program but not like this and we came up with the idea of making it fun having a short brief in the theatre and then coming outside and getting some hands on training."
Blackburn says the goal of the event is for marines to learn while also having fun. Additionally, Driven 2 Dare Incorporated, just one of the many participants offering safety advice say more military is killed or injured coming back from deployment then when deployed, and their mission is to save our troops from dying on the home front.
Cassie Gannis a Pro driver with NASCAR and Driven 2 Dare says "We teach them how to drive a motorcycle safely, drive a car safely, remind them to not drink and drive, and not text and drive so they'll be safe here in the states."
Every year for the last 10 years the safety event has taken place throughout the county and Yuma marines are saying it's both beneficial and fun."
Matt Steele, a Squadron Pilot, says "I think it's a great opportunity for Marines to get out and take some time away from work and think about things and ways to be safer while their on their time away from the military."
Master Sgt. Dexter Martin, who has attended the safety training for years, says it's something that has to be done and the approach used to teach fellow marines is a nice change. He says, I think it's awesome because it breaks up the monotony of just sitting in a theatre or sitting in a chapel where we actually do some of our classes and briefs sometimes."
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