Face of Defense: Volunteer Devotes Time to Keep Fellow Airmen Safe

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Air Force Senior Airman Lanimarie Baclian, an Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer, is always happy to answer her phone.

AADD
Air Force Senior Airman Lanimarie Baclian, an Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer, drives her car at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 30, 2017. She she became an AADD volunteer, Baclian has worked 27 shifts for a total of 162 hours. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert J. Volio
AADD AADD volunteer devotes time to keep Airmen safe
Air Force Senior Airman Lanimarie Baclian, an Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer, drives her car at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 30, 2017. She she became an AADD volunteer, Baclian has worked 27 shifts for a total of 162 hours. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert J. Volio

“I've been a volunteer driver since February,” said Baclian, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance target development analyst with the 614th Air Operations Center here. “I recently became an AADD squadron representative in June. I'm the point of contact for my squadron when it comes to AADD events. I recruit volunteers from my squadron, and coordinate my hours with the driving coordinator. I enjoy being part of an organization whose sole function is to look out for and help other people.”

Since she became an AADD volunteer, Baclian has worked 27 shifts for a total of 162 hours. During that time, she has picked up airmen all over the Central Coast and sometimes on base during official functions.

What started as a favor to a friend became a much more important cause.

“I initially started volunteering as a driver because my friend was recruiting volunteers and not a lot of people were volunteering, so I decided to step up,” Baclian said. “However, the more active I was, the more important it became to me. While there are other options airmen can utilize, AADD gives people a safe, reliable, and anonymous option if someone were to find themselves stranded.”

Consequences

Driving while intoxicated can have extreme repercussions, not only on those driving, but for passengers and other drivers on the road.

“Driving under the influence can have a significant impact on other people,” Baclian said. “A person is putting other peoples’ lives at risk when they decide to drink and drive. My mom instilled in me at a young age that when you make that choice and you end up crippling or killing someone, that feeling stays with you forever. No amount of goodwill bring that person back to life. You may think you're fine, but it's not worth your life and someone else's as a result of poor decision-making.”

Getting caught driving under the influence can also end a career.

“Driving under the influence can have severe implications on your career,” Baclian said. “It can cost you your career: a demotion, referral performance report, an Article 15 that will make it difficult for re-enlistment, and a potential criminal conviction.”

Volunteers Needed

AADD is always looking for volunteers, and not just drivers, Air Force Staff Sgt. Isis Land, AADD president said..

“We solicit for five people a night on weekends, holidays and events to be a dispatcher, primary or alternative female driver, and primary or alternative male driver,” said Land, the 30th Medical Group Periodic Health Assessments noncommissioned officer in charge. “To get involved, members can reach out to their squadron reps, our driver coordinators or any of the council members and let us know when they would like to help.”

Through her contributions and involvement with AADD, Baclian has been a consistent wingman for her fellow airmen.

“It's a great feeling,” Baclian said. “I'd drive any one of my friends if they needed it, and this allows me to expand and be a wingman to other people.”

With the potential to save a career or a life, AADD is always just a phone call away. Volunteers like Baclian are always happy to answer that call.

“It has been drilled into our heads at every safety brief to have a plan,” Baclian said. “You should not be ashamed to ask for help. There are people who work every week to drive out and make sure you get home safe.”