Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall, Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody

Written by Christopher McBriarty
Coast Guard Foundation staff

Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Adm. Charles Ray congratulates Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall upon receiving the Coast Guard Foundation's National Award for Heroism at the 37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard in New York City, Oct. 5, 2017. U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Adm. Charles Ray congratulates Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall upon receiving the Coast Guard Foundation’s National Award for Heroism at the 37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard in New York City, Oct. 5, 2017. U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The 37th Annual Salute to the Coast Guard was held Oct. 5, 2017, in New York City, to honor Coast Guard heroics from around the country.

Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall, a boatswain’s mate at Coast Guard Station Erie, and Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester were honored at the Coast Guard Foundation’s National Award for Heroism.

Kendall rescued six people trapped inside a sinking 27-foot boat on Presque Isle Bay in Pennsylvania. Coast Guard Station Erie’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew responded to the report where two people became trapped inside the cabin.

Kendall leaped from the bow of the response boat swimming to the nearly submerged vessel and successfully rescued the first of the trapped individuals. Aware that another person was still inside the vessel without means of escape, he heroically saved the victim’s life by reaching inside the vessel’s starboard side window, bracing against the hull, and pulling her through with only seconds to spare before the boat sank.

“To the Coast Guard Foundation, thank you,” said Kendall after receiving his award. “I would also like to thank Coast Guard Station Erie, Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, and most importantly the crew of the CG-45757 – without them, six lives would not have been saved on July 23, 2016.

“I was just a part of the puzzle that day,” Kendal continued. “I did what I thought was right, I did my job, and there was no way I was going to stand there and watch somebody perish in front of me.”


Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester accept the Coast Guard Foundation's National Award for Heroism at the 37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard in New York City, Oct. 5, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester accept the Coast Guard Foundation’s National Award for Heroism at the 37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard in New York City, Oct. 5, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody were awarded for their brave actions on July 4, 2016, in the rescue of a boat crew on Irondequoit Bay where they saved seven lives.

While on patrol, the couple noticed a 34-foot Sea Ray vessel turn around unexpectedly in front of other traffic with its crew frantically waving their arms and yelling that they had lost all power and had caught fire. The auxiliarists quickly transferred the three children and four adults to their vessel and radioed to Coast Guard Station Rochester to request emergency assistance from the local fire department and sheriff’s office.

“We feel it an honor to be able to help our country, Station Rochester, and the Coast Guard,” said Robert Brody. “They are the nicest bunch of people to work with, and I want to thank you all for supporting the Coast Guard Foundation.”

The event also honored president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Benjamin G. Bordelon for the shipbuilding company’s many years of support to the Coast Guard Foundation, and saluted the Coast Guard Auxiliary for its dedicated and indispensable role as part of “Team Coast Guard.”

Lindsay Czarniak, an anchor for ESPN, served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies with the evening’s keynote address from Vice Commandant Adm. Charles D. Michel.

Also acknowledged during the ceremony were the ongoing response and rescue efforts of the Coast Guard during the historic hurricane activity in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

“During these back-to-back surges, thousands of our members and their families were evacuated and hundreds suffered crushing losses, sometimes total losses – but these same men and women continued to serve, putting service before self,” said Michel. “This is where the Coast Guard Foundation comes in, already in these events the Foundation has given over $475,000 to Coast Guard families in need.”

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

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