Military News

Monday, January 25, 2016

A2D2: the impact is real

by Senior Airman Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs


1/20/2016 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- When 10 p.m. rolls around every Friday and Saturday night, the Eclipse Cyber Café at Peterson Air Force Base hosts a group of Airmen awaiting the opportunity to keep their wingmen and the community out of harm's way.

Airmen Against Drunk Driving is a private organization, fondly referred to as A2D2 by the Airmen of the local area, which provides free rides home to anyone who had too much to drink and cannot drive themselves, and also either lives, works on or has access to Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever AFB or Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.

The organization is run entirely on volunteer support and falls squarely on the shoulders of the very people who use the services. Services are provided every Friday and Saturday night (and nights before holidays or family days) from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and volunteers hang out at the café and wait for calls to come in, said Senior Airman Megan Higgason, Front Range A2D2 president.

"All they need is our number and to call us between the hours 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.," she said. "All they do is call and the dispatcher takes care of the rest, and they just have to stay where they are and wait for us to pick them up."

The beauty of A2D2 is the anonymity, Higgason said. Those needing a ride need only provide a first name and phone number to contact them for when the driver arrives and that's it.

"It's a socially safe avenue to rectify the situation. You don't have to call your supervisor or your first (sergeant)," said Airman 1st Class Ben Clark, Front Range A2D2 vice president.

Each weekend finds a different unit from any of the three installations providing volunteers to support their wingmen, he said. Unit representatives from each squadron work closely with the council to hash out a schedule and are then responsible to provide volunteers for the weekend.

Individuals are encouraged to volunteer whenever they want and as often as they want, in addition to when their specific unit is assigned, said Higgason. The café offers a place to stay for the night, free coffee and drinks, board games, video games and other entertainment.

The efforts of each volunteer don't go unnoticed. At the end of 2015, A2D2 had 421 volunteers, went on 198 calls and drove 467 passengers home safely. Those numbers prove the need for and success of the program.

"This is a concrete example of service before self," Clark said. "This is the embodiment of that. People are going to volunteer not only their time, but their vehicle and gas. It's making sure our wingmen are coming home to their families and our neighbors are safe on the streets. It has a real impact on the community that we live in."

For more information about how to volunteer or unit representatives and schedules, contact the A2D2 workflow box at airmenagainst.dd@us.af.mil or any of the council members: Higgason, president; Clark, vice president; Spc. Matthew Wilson, secretary; or Airman 1st Class Melissa Thompson, treasurer.

For A2D2 services, call A2D2 at 719-552-2233 (AADD) from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

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