When Logcom and Sytems Command marines return to the Marine Corps Logistics Base after a long break they have to take a "Back in the Saddle" class. The classes cover a variety of topics from injury prevention to drugs and alcohol to hazing. In this week's Mission MCLB we sat in on the class that brought to light the reality of driving dangerously.
"Bad things can happen when you don't take the job of driving seriously. There's no reason to drink and drive, text and drive, or anything else that distracts you while driving" says Kelly Narowski. Narowski travels across the United States talking to military groups about the dangers of bad driving habits and the real life consequences it can have in order for audiences to develop a personal sense of safety. She began speaking engagements after she was left wheelchair bound as a result of an accident.
To reinforce her message she shows graphic videos of the affects irresponsible driving can have on the driver, passengers, other vehicles, pedestrians, innocent by standers, and the friends and family accidents touch. Marines in the audience gasped, some looked away, and other teared up at the sights and sounds of accidents. Corporal Marcus Keyes says the videos were an eye-opener. "When I was watching those videos it helped me bring things back to mind for what I do as a driver and things I shouldn't do. It brought to reality that I'm not invincible, I'm 24 years old, but it can happen" says Keyes.
Narowski says when talking to marines she takes a different approach than she would if talking to students. Military personnel are tough, so sometimes at parts of the briefing I get a little more intense for the ones who need to see the reality. As far as a safety briefing my main messages were wear your seatbelt, don't drink and drive, pay attention to the job of driving including don't text and drive, don't drive when your too tired, and follow motorcycle rules as well as the rules of the road" says Narowski.
When speaking to marines Narowski gets into details about how living in a wheelchair has affected her. Everything from monitoring her liquid intake to prevent bladder accidents, to sex, to daily activities she had to completely re-learn how to do in a wheel chair. She says its important to inform them on the kinf of life they'll be in for as a consequence of bad driving behaviors. "There are a thousand little inconveniences day in and day out".
She adds that its a rewarding feeling when someone who attends one of her presentations sends her a message on how their driving habits have changed.