News: Service members stay safe for summer
Story by Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — When safety is the top priority while having fun, the chance of an accident decreases.
Service members enjoyed their 72-hour liberty pass with safety as a top priority during the July 4 weekend at Camp Pendleton.
With the scorching summer heat, many service members and their families flocked to Del Mar Beach to enjoy the festivities and cool off in the ocean.
"Everyone should swim with a buddy," said Sgt. Perry A. Edholm, 23, from Smithtown, N.Y., a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense specialist with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Platoon, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group. "If a Marine gets pulled underwater or out into the ocean, their buddy can go back for help."
Many beach patrons chose to swim near lifeguards to increase the speed of a rescue in the unfortunate chance of an accident.
"My buddies and I swam in front of the lifeguard tower," said Lance Cpl. Sean S. Steele, 19, from Denver, a CH-46 Sea Knight crew chief with Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. "That allows the lifeguards to see us if we go under."
Service members playing on the beach and swimming in the ocean couldn't avoid the sun's harmful rays, but they could defend themselves against them.
"It's very important that Marines wear sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun," said Lance Cpl. Sara I. Edholm, 22, from Arcadia, Iowa, a personnel clerk with Installation Personnel Administration Center, Company A, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
After the sun went down, many Marines headed to drinking establishments to celebrate the independence of the United States 233 years ago.
"My group of friends designated a sober driver before we went to the bars in Oceanside this weekend," said Cpl. Brandon D. Porter, 24, from Medford, Wis., a vehicle operator with Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st MLG. "If you drive drunk, you could get a [Driving Under the Influence] ticket and endanger the lives of yourself and other motorists."
The July 4th fireworks may have ended, but proper planning and being safe doesn't have to.