Guardians of 2010: September

Each week we honor members of the Coast Guard family as “Guardian of the Week” for their devotion to duty and contributions to our service. As we close out 2010, we’re looking back over the year to celebrate the contributions of the Guardians of 2010. Today, we revisit those recognized in September 2010.

LT Wayne Miller – September 2, 2010

LT Miller and Fire Marshall Talley

LT Wayne Miller and Alabama Deputy State Fire Marshall Michael K. Talley helped rescue a man caught in a car fire. Coast Guard photo by PA1 Zach Zubricki

Lt. Wayne Miller (USCGR) was just one of thousands of Coast Guard men and women to find themselves deployed to the Gulf of Mexico to protect the coastline in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Miller was on his way to a planning meeting when fate – and his Coast Guard training, found him plunging into a burning car to save another. In true hero style, Miller lauded the victim for his courage.

“He inspired me for the rest of my life because he pushed through that pain, that incredible pain.”

Click here to read more on this Coast Guard hero.

AST2 Lake Downham – September 10, 2010

AST2 Downham surfing to shore

AST2 Downham helps a child surf to shore. Photo courtesy of Anthony Bianciella.

As a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Petty Officer 2nd Class Lake Downham spends a lot of time in the water saving lives. So, it should come as no surprise he would choose to give of his own time to help children with disabilities build confidence on the water.

“My favorite thing to teach them is surfing,” says Downham. “A lot of the kids are afraid of the water and don’t want to get in, and then by the end of the day they don’t want to leave the water.”

Click here to read more about the children who inspire one Coastie to be his best.

ME2 Nick Antis – September 17, 2010

ME2 Antis and Ryder

ME2 Antis his partner Ryder. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Teamwork is a critical part of any law enforcement operation. For Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Antis and his partner, Ryder, teamwork could mean the difference between life and death. As one of the Coast Guard’s explosives detection canine teams, a lot is riding on their ability to work together in defense of our security.

As a deployable asset, Antis and Ryder are capable of operating in a variety of geographic locations and environments with the ability to work ashore or aboard vessels, and deploy from helicopters by vertical delivery. Recently, canine teams from [Marine Safety and Security Team] Los Angeles/Long Beach provided support to the commissioning of the [Coast Guard Cutter] Waesche, the Super Bowl, and the Rose Bowl, among other events.

Click here to read more about this pioneering Coast Guardsman and his canine partner.

AMT3 Kelly Dunn – September 24, 2010

AMT "A" school graduates

AMT3 Dunn, lower right, and her AMT "A" school classmates at Aviation Technical Training Center. Photo provided by AMT3 Kelly Dunn.

Every successful search and rescue case performed by a Coast Guard air station begins well before the command center receives a distress call and launches a helicopter or plane. Were it not for the flight mechanics that keep our aircraft mission ready, many a distress call would go unanswered. The Coast Guard has found a one-of-a-kind aviation maintenance technician in Petty Officer 3rd Class Kelly Dunn.

One of the Coast Guard’s newest AMTs is Petty Officer Third Class Kelly Dunn. Graduates from AMT “A” school have proven their understanding of complex aviation systems. Dunn, however, demonstrated her mastery on the subject further, as she graduated as class leader, honor graduate and with the academic achievement award.

Click here to read more about this inspiring Coastie. We anticipate big things from Dunn!

Congratulations to all of the Guardians of 2010! Come back tomorrow as we pay tribute to the Guardians of the Week for October 2010.