Airman 1st Class Samira Trimas, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron, poses for a photo on Kadena Air Base, June 25, 2019. Trimas volunteered more than 500 hours to group and wing-level designated driver programs and was nominated for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton)
Airman 1st Class Samira Trimas, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron, poses for a photo on Kadena Air Base, June 25, 2019. Trimas volunteered more than 500 hours to group and wing-level designated driver programs and was nominated for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton)

Taking Initiative: Samira's Story

by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Drunken driving and alcohol-related incidents put lives and careers at risk of a tragic end. The consequences impact not only the victim and the offender, but the mission and welfare of the community.

While Okinawa’s bars and izakayas may offer some of the best food, drinks and entertainment on the island, the Kadena Shoguns take a firm stance against drunken driving.

This stance’s most visible form often looks like random breathalyzer tests conducted when entering or exiting the base. What’s less obvious are the Airmen on Kadena who build the Air Force smarter and faster, who will go to any lengths to prevent another alcohol-related incident.

Airman 1st Class Samira Trimas is one of them.

Trimas, an Aircrew Flight Equipment technician assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron, contributed over 500 hours volunteering for group and wing designated driver programs, ensuring the safety of more than 300 service members.

During a New Year’s Eve party in 2018, Trimas saw another Airman, intoxicated by alcohol, remark that he was to drive home.

“I didn’t know who he was but there was a party and he got very drunk, so me and another Airman noticed he grabbed his keys and was going downstairs. We were like, ‘Hey, where are you going? You drank a lot, you’re not planning on driving, are you?’”

The intoxicated Airman protested, saying he only lived a short distance away.

Trimas again offered to walk or drive him home.

“He tried to get in his car, so me and another [Airmen] tried to get him out of the car,” she said. “He put his keys in, and we were like, ‘no.’”

Trimas then moved her car to block him.

“I parked behind him so he wouldn’t move, and if he did move, he’d hit my car and not damage anyone else’s,” she said.

A half hour later, he relented and allowed a friend to drive him home, with Trimas following behind to ensure safety.

Trimas said socializing and getting to know people is important to being able to help someone in need.

“I like to keep myself available in case somebody needs me,” she said. “If you’re closed off, it’s harder for people to approach you. I grew up Buddhist, so my mom always taught me to help others and do good. If you can, help.”

For her initiative and personal courage at the dorm party, combined with her previous volunteerism, she was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal in April, 2019.

“She serves as a role model to her flight and peers,” said Lt. Col. Troy Broskovetz, 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron commander. “Her tireless and continuous efforts serve as a reminder that one person truly can make a difference. Airman Trimas has directly enhanced the lives of over 300 Airmen.”

Trimas isn’t alone, Airmen across base are taking a stand to maintain the lethality and combat readiness of Kadena’s warfighters.

For more examples of the Kadena Shoguns taking a stand against alcohol-related incidents, visit https://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1887339/taking-initiative-these-airmen-take-a-stand-against-drunken-driving/.

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