We tell our sons that if they are drunk, they should not drive or get into a car with anyone who has been drinking. This is good information. But in the name of Thomas Hecht, whose body was found in the Milwaukee River yesterday, we need to add more to this. We need to tell them not to go anywhere near water when they are drunk and teach them to get their buddies home safely.
The fact that so many males die in rivers every year after a day or night of partying is painfully perplexing. I myself do not understand how exactly this happens. Are they blacked out and delusional? Are they attempting to pee and fall in? Are they being tossed in? It just doesn't make sense to me. It can't possibly be that swimming at that moment sounds like a good idea. But out of all the ways young men could die after drinking, why / how do so many wind up drowning?
I don't think we will ever know the answer to this.
Our society is pretty good about getting girls home – girls know to travel in groups at night and friends usually wait to make sure a female gets into her apartment unharmed – but a lot of guys don't really look out for guys the same way.
This needs to change. The belief that's it's OK, even responsible, for a drunk man to walk home alone instead of drive home should no longer be socially acceptable. It's not enough.
Parents, tell your sons at the age-appropriate time that friends make sure all friends make it home. And guys, make sure your friends get home safely by driving them home (if you're sober, of course) or walking with them. Do it starting this weekend.
There is no guaranteed way to avoid danger, of course, but there's truth to the age-old belief that safety is more likely in numbers.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.