Safety and You at ISU
Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee December, 2005
Here’s something a little different in our Newsletter this holiday season.
There are a couple of different versions of this poem and a few people who take credit for it. No matter what version, this is a good way for us to remember our soldiers, no matter where they are.
A Soldier’s Christmas
“The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight;
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight;
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
In perfect contentment or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear;
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know.
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near;
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold;
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing our here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice, I’m here every night.
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line
That separates you from the darkest of times;
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl’ one day in December,
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas
Gram always remembers;
My dad stood watch in the jungles of Nam,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than awhile,
my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got a smile;
Then he bent and carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue...an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and being alone
Away from my family, my house and my home;
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another
Or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To insure for all time that this flag will not fall.
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be alright.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least
Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast? It seems a too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while
We’re gone, To stand your own watch,
No matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.
Developing a Deeper Sense of Meaning & Purpose
- Find something that you can commit time to that requires helping others.
- Develop a quiet routine that requires at least 30 minutes per day of reduced stimulation.
- Attempt to frame events that occur during the day so they are viewed as opportunities for your learning and growth.
- If you currently participate in a traditional activity, make sure that it is a regular part of your lifestyle.
- Learn to accept the differences in people and reduce the amount of judgments you make.
- Be open to continued learning about life’s larger meanings.
- Consider adding a meditation or deep breathing exercise to your daily routine.
- Expand your opportunity to be of service by volunteering for a different community or social service agency.
- Think about how your work supports the good work your school or department does in the community.
- Remember, doing good for others is good for your health!
Stalking-Things you can do
Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, you can take steps to increase your safety.
If You are in Immediate Danger, call 911
Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
Contact Public Safety at 282-2515 or the Project Hope Advocacy Program at 282-2805. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, refer you to other services, and weigh other options such as seeking a protection order.
Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. You can also contact Public Safety for an escort at 282-2515. Decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else.
Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you
Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker contacts your or follows you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep e-mails, phone messages, letters, or notes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws.
Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
Tell family, friends, roommates and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. Ask them to help watch out for your safety. (Natl. Center for Victims of Crime)
Holiday Shopping Tips
What do criminals look for during the holiday season?
- Shoppers who display large amounts of cash.
- Shoppers who are walking alone in parking lots at night.
- Shoppers with dangling purses.
- Vehicles with packages left in the back seat.
- Packages left unattended in stores, malls, parking lots, etc.
- Purses left unattended in shopping carts.
Do Your Part To Make The Holidays A Safe Time For Everyone
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Park in a well-lighted area, be sure to lock your car and place all packages and gifts in the trunk.
- Have your keys in your hand when returning to your car.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money, use checks or credit cards whenever possible.
- Carry your purse under your arm with the strap across your body or use a fanny pack. Keep your wallet in an inside jacket pocket.
- When shopping with kids, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard when separated in a store or shopping mall. They should never go into a parking lot alone.
Tips To Avoid Drowsy Driving
- Be well rested before hitting the road. Keep in mind that if you skimp on sleep for several nights in a row, it might take more than one night of good sleep to be well rested and alert.
- Avoid driving between midnight and 7 a.m. This period of time is when we are naturally the most sleepy.
- Don’t Drive Alone. A companion who’s awake and can keep you engaged in conversation may help you stay awake.
- Schedule frequent breaks on long road trips.
- Don’t drink Alcohol!
- Don’t count on caffeine. Although drinking a cola or coffee might help keep you awake a short time, it won’t overcome excessive sleepiness.
Remember, if you are short on sleep, stay out of the driver’s seat!
Holiday Drinking - Keep It Safe
Don’t Leave Home Without These Tips
As you might suspect, the holiday season is the most dangerous time of year for alcohol related accidents and deaths. There are several reasons for this. More people drink during the holidays due to numerous parties and other.
Many holiday drinkers don’t drink very often, so they have a lower tolerance for alcohol. Problem drinkers love the holidays because there are more social occasions to drink. They feel more “normal” because the occasional drinkers are also more likely to abuse alcohol during this time of year.
The holidays are busy and sometimes stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.
To help you keep your alcohol intake at a healthy level, consider these strategies:
- Avoid using alcohol to quench your thirst. Drink a 1:1 ratio of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Alcohol is a diuretic and can leave you dehydrated if you neglect the water.
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. This can cause stomach upset and rapid absorption of alcohol in your system.
- Add lots of ice to reduce the amount of booze you consume.
- Always order wine by the glass, not by the bottle or liter. This will help prevent over-consuming “just to finish it off.”
- When you go to a party, preplan a limit of three or fewer drinks for the evening and spread them out accordingly.
- Feel free to refuse alcohol regardless of pressure or encouragement to drink.
- If you’re serving alcoholic beverages, have non-alcoholic beverages available also, and serve something to eat.
- Have alternative transportation available for intoxicated persons. DON’T LET FRIENDS AND GUESTS DRINK AND DRIVE!
- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! Be responsible— decide how you will get home before the party. Drive to social events in groups of two or more and have the driver agree not to drink.
- If you even think you have had too much to drink, call a taxi or consider staying overnight at your host’s house.