Choose to avoid the booze

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Ellsworth's corps of junior enlisted Airmen is comprised of a diverse group of individuals from many different backgrounds and age groups. As a result, some under age Airmen often find themselves in situations where their wingmen consume alcohol.

Although there's nothing wrong with those who are of legal age drinking responsibly - and never getting behind the wheel impaired - the same can't be said for those who are under age.

Master Sgt. Nathan Bowers, 28th Bomb Wing Staff first sergeant, said individuals must be 21 to drink alcohol in South Dakota. Each state, territory or foreign country in which an Air Force installation is located determines the age requirements for consuming alcohol.

"Everyone on base should already know drinking is only legal when they are off-duty and for those who are 21 and older," Bowers said. "That's why it's important for younger Airmen to surround themselves with people who are around the same age and have the same interests."

He added that hanging out with those outside your age group can cause problems, not only for those under 21, but for those who can drink legally.

Bowers encouraged Airmen to get out of their dorm rooms and experience all the Black Hills has to offer, but to do so smartly.

"Find friends your age and join an organization such as the Active Airman's Council, or one of the many base sports leagues," he said. "We all have to find activities that we enjoy during our free time."

There are numerous places Airmen can go to hike, camp and get away from it all, many of which are free of charge. For example, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, the George S. Mickelson Trail and several lakes and campgrounds.

Throughout this summer, members of the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office will visit these locations and others to highlight all they offer.