Senior Chief Petty Officer Peter MacDougall recalled the dark and stormy nights he went out into, knowing his wife could hear the helicopter take off from their house, imagining the anxiety it caused her. He spoke about the close calls. He spoke about survivors he rescued from the grip of the sea, and the men and women he served alongside who made each of his 40 years of service special.
When the tour ship HMS Bounty started sinking off the coast of North Carolina in 2012, Operations Specialist 2nd Class Lindsey Neumann answered the distress call that launched 14 aircraft and two ships to safely rescue 14 members of the 16-man crew.
This week, “Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty” has the unique pleasure of highlighting the great work of Seaman Stephanie O’Sullivan and her husband Petty Officer 1st Class Brain O’Sullivan.
“We spend a lot of time saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if someone did something?’” said Appel. “Saying is not acting. You could be that someone. You could say, ‘I should do something.’”
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft announced today the Coast Guard will name a cutter in honor of Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III who died on Dec. 2, 2012, while carrying out law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz, California. The Commandant personally informed the Horne family earlier today a fast response cutter will bear Terrell’s name in honor of his sacrifice and faithful service in defense of his nation.
Good Samaritans play a crucially important role on the waterways. When a recreational boater needs assistance on the water, other boaters in the area can provide immediate assistance, mitigating further damage and saving lives. These good Samaritans are true heroes and often times go unnoticed.
On June 9, Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma was moored in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while on a routine patrol. Four crewmembers headed to a local beach to relax and spend some time away from the cutter. While there, they noticed a couple – Taylor and Laura Ford – trapped in a strong rip current. Recognizing the beach had no lifeguards on duty, Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Barsness, a gunner’s mate, sprang into action. Taylor Ford was near drowning when Barsness reached him. Barsness was able to pull Ford from the water, calming him and waiting by his side until medical assistance arrived.
Four years ago, Roxanne Watson lay in a critical care unit, awaiting a heart transplant she never thought would come. Watson had already been told three times they had found a match. When they came to her a fourth time, she remained skeptical. To avoid getting her hopes up, she told her heart transplant coordinator to call her when they found a heart. That call came on the night of July 15, 2010.
At some point in everyone’s life, they think to themselves ‘If I can find a job I truly love, I will never have to work a day in my life.’ For Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, this is a thought that shaped her entire future. “Being in the military and serving my country is in my blood,” Lopez said.
It’s not every day that a Coast Guard member finds themselves conducting cyber operations overseas, but that is exactly what Lt. Cmdr. Sean Plankey did while serving a 7-month tour in Afghanistan. After completing his masters in the C4IT advanced education program at University of Pennsylvania, Plankey was assigned to U.S. Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, Maryland as the Weapons and Tactics Branch chief. From this position, a unique opportunity presented itself: provide all offensive cyberspace operations in direct support of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and subordinate units.