On Tuesday’s Week in the Life series, we feature operations from Coast Guard Cutter Sledge in Curtis Bay, Maryland, engine checks at Station Cape Charles, Virginia, a drug offload in Miami Beach, Florida, night hoist operations in Houston and new recruits reporting to Training Center Cape May, New Jersey.
For the past 225 years the Coast Guard has safeguarded our nation’s maritime interests, providing a 24/7 presence along America’s rivers, ports, coastline and on the high seas. But while the Coast Guard’s presence and impact is regional, national and international, our operations are often out of sight.
Michelle Thornton, who currently serves as the Coast Guard Auxiliary district captain for Hampton Roads and as a civilian employee for the Coast Guard, has become one of the anchors; her story typifies the contribution and dedication of both Coast Guard auxiliarists and civilians.
Proudly representing the Coast Guard as part of The Long Blue Line, Cmdr. Holly Harrison became the first female to command a Coast Guard vessel in a combat zone and subsequently became the first female to receive the bronze star medal.
“Upon regaining consciousness his only question was ‘Did they get off?’, and so died with a smile on his face and the full knowledge that he had successfully accomplished a dangerous mission.” Read more about Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro’s heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
An already hazardous situation made worse by severe winter weather, Coast Guard Cape Cod CGNR 6033 crew heroically displayed their bravery, ingenuity and grit in the rescue of a father and son aboard an imperiled sailboat earning them The Captain Frank Erickson Award.
In studying the historical record of by-gone days, scholars often come across men and women whose deeds are long forgotten by the nation they once served. Such is the case of Charles S. Root, one of the bravest and most accomplished engineering officers in Coast Guard history, who distinguished himself early in his career as a heroic lifesaver.
Recently, Latina Style Inc. recognized Coast Guard Capt. Dr. Maria-Paz Smith and Coast Guard employee Marilyn Fajardo as the awardees for the Latina Style Meritorious Service Award. Both Smith and Fajardo demonstrated themselves as leaders and advocates for diversity and the full integration of Latina women throughout the Armed Forces and the Federal Civilian workforce.
During a severe snow storm in Massachusetts in early February, a premature baby was born on Nantucket and was in need of medical care beyond what the island’s hospital could provide. The CGNR 2309 crew of from Air Station Cape Cod pushed the limits to deliver a medical team and neonatal incubator to save the child’s life earning them the Cmdr. Elmer F. Stone award.
Demonstrating exceptional qualities as a swab, one Coast Guard Academy cadet was chosen as the top-performer who most embodied the training values taught to him since reporting-in day.