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Volunteering can save lives

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Sam Anderson, Eclipse Cyber Café barista, pours a hot drink for an Airman at the Eclipse Cyber Café on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 14, 2017. Volunteers from Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station dedicate their time every weekend to ensure the roads of Colorado Springs are safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Sam Anderson, Eclipse Cyber Café barista, pours a hot drink for an Airman at the Eclipse Cyber Café on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 14, 2017. Volunteers from Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station dedicate their time every weekend to ensure the roads of Colorado Springs are safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Louis Catiller, 2017 Airmen Against Drunk Driving vice president, delivers a safety brief to the volunteers for the night at the Eclipse Cyber Café on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 14, 2017. A2D2 is a private organization that provides safe rides home to anyone who lives or works on Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB or Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Louis Catiller, 2017 Airmen Against Drunk Driving vice president, delivers a safety brief to the volunteers for the night at the Eclipse Cyber Café on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 14, 2017. A2D2 is a private organization that provides safe rides home to anyone who lives or works on Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB or Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Kimberly O’Neill, 21st Dental Squadron lab technician and regular Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer, waits for her hot drink at the Eclipse Cyber Café at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., from Sam Anderson, Eclipse Cyber Café barista, Jan. 14, 2017. Every weekend, military and civilians from around base go to the café for free drinks and to volunteer for free service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Kimberly O’Neill, 21st Dental Squadron lab technician and regular Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteer, waits for her hot drink at the Eclipse Cyber Café at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., from Sam Anderson, Eclipse Cyber Café barista, Jan. 14, 2017. Every weekend, military and civilians from around base go to the café for free drinks and to volunteer for free service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It’s Friday night at the Eclipse Cyber Café and an Airman just ordered a coffee. Together with a group of volunteers, they wait to receive a call that could possibly save a life.

This is what happens every weekend here when a group of people volunteer with Airmen Against Drunk Driving. These volunteers give up their personal time to go out and save lives by providing safe transportation to other Airmen who may have had too much to drink.

This private organization, often referred to as A2D2, is a free designated driver service supporting the Colorado Springs area including Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. These services are available Friday and Saturday nights, extended weekends, including nights before holidays and family days, and during official functions that serve alcohol.

This organization is supported by the Peterson AFB Chapel, through the use of its Eclipse Cyber Café, where volunteers take calls and send out drivers. A2D2 is comprised of both military and civilian volunteers.

“There’s a big misconception that it’s only junior enlisted who can volunteer for or use these services,” said Staff Sgt. Megan Higgason, Advance Space Operations School space intelligence instructor at Peterson. “It’s anyone assigned to those three installations.”

In 2016 they ended up with a total of 151 volunteers from all levels of leadership and branches of service. “We’ve had officers, Soldiers and civilians volunteer,” Higgason said. “We even had a captain and an Army specialist on our council.”

Each night volunteers work the five-hour shift together. Throughout the year, motivated volunteers put in nearly 5,000 hours and ensured about 550 people made it home safely, potentially saving their lives and others on the road.

The call to support wingmen comes from more than just a sense of duty. For some it comes from personal life experiences.

“My dad has been arrested for driving while intoxicated. I tried to help him, but he wouldn’t accept it,” said Senior Airman Rose Gudex, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs photojournalist. “Since I couldn’t help him, I made it my mission to help as many Airmen as I could.”

The passion of the many volunteers of A2D2, like Gudex and others, is what drives the program.

Now people from around the local community can feel safer when they’re on the roads.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui