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Returning Marines getting into large number of car crashes

We owe a lot to those serving in the armed forces. It's no small thing to serve in the military, particularly when that service takes them overseas to war zones. It's understandable that when those men and women return stateside, they might seek an outlet to channel their emotions; for many of them, that means getting out in the open road and driving or riding a motorcycle.

Some returning service members might have the feeling that they aren't at risk of being injured or killed in something so mundane as a car accident; after all, they have likely faced much worse in the Middle East as part of their deployment. Sadly, however, a large number of Marines from one base in California have died in car accidents in their home country. Overall, more than 300 Marines have perished in motor vehicle accidents at home since 2007.

That number includes 28 Marines from a single California base; another five deaths were from Marines stationed elsewhere who were visiting. Several of these crashes occurred on the same stretch of road in the desert, near the base. Officials there have taken to delivering frequent defensive-driving training to the Marines stationed there as a result, but it is difficult if not impossible to control their behavior or decision making when they are off the base.

A lot of brave Marines have been lost due to preventable motor vehicle accidents. It's everyone's responsibility -- member of the armed services or not -- to drive responsibly and safely.

Source: The Desert Sun, "Desert base, deadly highway," Brett Kelman and Drew Schmenner, March 22, 2014

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