by 1st Lt. Mark Graff
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
8/31/2012 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- Lajes Against Drunk Driving is a program designed to provide Lajes Airmen with a safe and sober ride home if their plans fall through. The goal of LADD is to get Airmen home safely and to avoid driving under the influence. But the goal doesn't drive the program - volunteers do.
Every weekend Lajes Field volunteers commit themselves to providing a safe and sober alternative to drinking and driving. These Airmen volunteer with a selfless spirit and a desire to assist those who face a potentially deadly situation: getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
Here's a look at why some LADD volunteers do what they do...
Since arriving to Lajes in May, Perez has volunteered for LADD on two occasions.
"The reason I volunteer is so I can possibly prevent someone of making that mistake of driving while intoxicated. That's not something that someone wants to have on their record. I just want to be available in case someone runs out of options. I want to be that fallback."
"I've volunteered twice, both times as an operator. It was alright, mainly people were calling from Praia and closer towns."
"It's a great bullet and you can always prevent someone from making that mistake. You can be there for someone else."
Unit Deployment Manager
65th Security Forces
As the Rising 6 LADD representative, Campanelli coordinates volunteer sign-ups for the Rising 6. He also volunteers as a dispatcher and driver.
"On a busy weekend, I have received up to 12 callers requesting rides. On a slow weekend, sometimes I only receive one call. The monthly average is about 20 calls or roughly five per weekend."
"The LADD program ensures the safety and well being for all Lajes Airmen, and that is why I volunteered. The most important thing about LADD is simply that it is available and we're willing to provide a safe means of travel for anyone seeking a ride."
Staff Sgt. Angel Smythe
Public Affairs Specialist
65th Air Base Wing
Smythe typically volunteers to be a LADD dispatcher and has done so numerous times.
"I live pretty far away from the party towns here, yet still I've volunteered several times as a dispatcher to contribute to the LADD program. I love seeing other people have fun, but I cannot stand to see anyone get hurt or in trouble for something that could have easily been prevented."
"It's always my pleasure and never a bother to serve as a wingman to my fellow Airmen in this simple manner."