The Airmen Against Drunk Driving program was rebooted and is now available for Airmen at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., to use in emergency situations.
AADD is a group of Airmen volunteers who give up their time and sleep to help fight drunk driving. They come together every weekend at the Community Commons and wait for the call in case an Airmen’s original plan to get home doesn’t work out.
“I feel that by reinstating AADD we are not only building a bridge and closing the gap with our community, we’re also leading by example,” said Senior Airman Alea Gentles, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron operations manager. “When we started this program we only had one call, which was discouraging but I sat back realized that one call is one less DUI and one family saved. It’s worth it.”
Volunteers are on call from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday to Saturday, however, a Thunderbolt’s first plan of action should not be AADD. This is plan B to call when plan A falls through. Always coordinate with an established designated driver prior to consuming alcohol.
“We don’t want to be the first line of contact,” Gentles said. “It’s not meant to be a free taxi service but if there are Airmen in need we are there for them.”
Volunteers are needed every weekend. Even more so on the holiday weekends.
“We need at least five volunteers each week, including one non-commissioned officer to be the dispatcher,” Gentles said. “There could be more but until the amount of calls we receive increases we only need five.”
Thunderbolts who choose to volunteer to be a driver for AADD not only enjoy being there for their fellow Airmen, they have amenities available to them such as games and food that’s been donated or fundraised.
“AADD is definitely one of the most beneficial programs available to the Airmen of Luke,” said Airman 1st Class Chandler Elian, an AADD volunteer. “The opportunity to be shuttled home by a friendly face in the midst of confusion and diminished judgement, is something to be grateful for. I enjoy providing this service to my peers, as I may be in their shoes one day, and I empathize with that.”
To contact AADD call 623-856-2233.