Guardian of the Week- The Coast Guard Families

On Fridays we are going to be featuring a Coast Guard hero, the “Guardian of the Week”. This will be someone who has done something that makes them stand out, saving a life, a great achievement in their field, doing something that made a mission a success, etc. At the top of the page you should see a submit button, please feel free to nominate your shipmates for Guardian of the Week. All you need to do is write their name, unit, a way to contact them and a real quick note on what they did and the rest will be done on this end.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Faith Sulton, 5, of Virginia Beach, Va., waves an American flag as she awaits the return of her uncle, Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Reigel, an electronics technician stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Northland. The Northland is returning home after a 69-day patrol participating in the multi-national naval exercise UNITAS off the coast of Brazil and conducting counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo/ Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Faith Sulton, 5, of Virginia Beach, Va., waves an American flag as she awaits the return of her uncle, Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Reigel, an electronics technician stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Northland. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo/ Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise)

Instead of just a single Guardian of the Week to start off our Friday feature it seemed fitting that the first hero the Compass would honor should not just be one person, but with Mother’s Day so recently passed and Father’s Day coming up in it seemed right to give a salute to the families of our service members.

The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has made it clear that military families are a priority for her, and she recognizes them for their dedication, courage and strength. In March when speaking at Ft. Bragg, Mrs. Obama said:

“See, military families have done their duty, and we as a grateful nation must do ours. We must do everything in our power to honor them by supporting them; not just by word but by deed.”

The Army has a great article about Mrs. Obama and military families on their site.

Our family members are the ones that give us the love and support that makes it possible for us to do our jobs everyday. They put up with a lot, missed birthdays, sudden changes in plans, being the ones who have to wait and worry if we are coming home safe, there really is a lot that goes into loving a Coast Guardsman. Beyond that they are our biggest cheerleaders, our stoutest friends, and our most loyal crews when the seas get rough.

You want to see people who do something outstanding? It is those who keep the home front running when we are deployed, who deal with the car that always breaks down the day after the ship goes to sea. The ones who write us letters or call us to remind us that no matter how rough it gets we are loved. They are the ones who are there with pride when we get promoted and who are there at the pier to welcome us when we come home.

Mind you being the child of a sailor’s wife, and the granddaughter of another sailor’s wife, I am probably a little biased on the choice of Guardian of the Week this week. Those women were pretty amazing role models to have when I was growing up. I have been lucky enough to see first hand the strength (and well sometimes plain out stubbornness) it takes for spouses to be Semper Paratus right along with those of us in uniform. There is a blog on our blogroll written by some spouses, called Waiting for ships to come in, and it is a good read for a little insite into the Coast Guard life from the eyes of the families.

When you think about it there are 40,150 men and women on active duty and that number (not to mention the reservists and Auxiliarists) makes for a lot of Coast Guard family providing love and support for our service members.

So here is to you Coast Guard Family, Guardians of the Week…because while we are out there in surf, sea and storm…you are guarding our hearts and are the light that guides us home!

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