I hope everyone is getting ready for the holiday season and I wanted to take a few moments to pass some word.

First off, the blogs have been hugely successful. Thank you to everyone who has shared, posted comments and otherwise helped get the word out. A few folks have left posts or messages about what they would like to see as future blogs and we will take each one into consideration. Please continue to help get the word out for us, we really appreciate.

Next, I will be taking some time off from writing for the next week to be with family and enjoy the time off. This will be the last blog until then so I wanted to take a moment to comment on personal safety during this season. As we all know there is a criminal element that will prey on unsuspecting individuals, mainly robbery as a motive. That and we have the race based assaults that some call a “knock out game”. It by no means is a game and clearly the targets are white. I’m not going to sugar coat anything at this point so what can you do for this and other types of crimes.

Keep your head on a swivel at all times. Now is the time to change your posture, keep your head up, shoulders back, start off with some body language. Don’t hesitate to target ID, look at hands and gestures. It should go without saying that large groups should be avoided or skim the perimeter if necessary. If you are not armed, now is the time to seriously consider it and of course seek out qualified training. We are all guilty of playing with our phones, myself included. I’m not going to say not to do it, but before you glance down or type out that text. Do a good scan of your surroundings, to include behind you. Doing so will give you vital information before committing to typing texts, posting and other distractions.

Try to avoid leaving packages out on your porch too long; while a pain in the ass the signature required does help reduce porch side theft that became pretty rampant a few years back. Make sure to lock your doors and double check your windows. If you live in a neighborhood that prohibits solicitation and you get that knock on the door think before you open it. Take time to look out the window first, if you don’t recognize them speak through the door and ask them what they want. If they are solicitors, don’t even open the door.

Look out for one another and be kind. I spend more time talking to neighbors during the holidays as we typically are all home. Catch up, mingle and offer to help with watching their home if they leave on vacation. If you do leave on vacation, make sure someone can stop by periodically that knows your plan and how to get in touch.

Finally, I have more to be thankful than most. I am very thankful to live in the greatest country in the world, have a wonderful family, to fight for my country and call some of the greatest men my brothers.

President Ronald Reagan said it best; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

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