Why I Serve: Craig Hall

The Coast Guard celebrates 223 years of service to the nation this Sunday and is an opportunity to reflect upon the men and women who serve in America’s Coast Guard. In honor of our service’s birthday, we reached out to Coast Guard men and women and asked them to write an essay based on the prompt “Why I serve.”

We’ve shared perspectives from an array of Coast Guard members and today we bring you the story of a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer service that augments the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Craig Hall, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Photo courtesy of Craig Hall.

Craig Hall, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Photo courtesy of Craig Hall.

Written By Craig Hall, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

I was officially enrolled by the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in January 2008. My home unit is located at Station Point Allerton, in Hull, Mass. The station is one of the largest in the Coast Guard, and generally considered the home of Coast Guard search and rescue. The station has a rich history and traditions that date back to the earliest days of the Massachusetts Humane Society when Capt. Joshua James was the original surfman and station keeper.

However, the men and women I have met at the station and work alongside continue to represent and symbolize the best our country has to offer. I volunteered, but so did they. We have that in common as well as our commitment, diligence and vigilance as Team Coast Guard, because we are willing to serve.

Adm. Bob Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard, and Vice Adm. John Currier, vice commandant, recognized Public Service Recognition Week to honor the selfless contributions of the trusted Americans who serve our nation. In their message, they stated, “The theme of this year’s public service week is ‘Why I Serve.’ Embedded in this theme is an important message that we must all be reminded of, especially in this time of downward budget pressure: public service is more than a paycheck, it is an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the American people and the success of the United States.”

The overarching mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports and waterways.

The overarching mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports and waterways.

Why I serve? A question every volunteer has to answer, and one that every Auxiliarist should reflect upon for the inspiration, enthusiasm and commitment they promised to their country and nation. I think there are fewer opportunities to serve and support our country in the maritime environment than volunteering with the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. For me, I chose to join the Auxiliary because I believed it was one of the best ways I could contribute to making positive changes in people’s lives. I continue to believe this and my experiences reflect that.

The Auxiliary is important, in reality critical, to the Coast Guard being able to carry out its multi-faceted and ever-expanding missions. Auxiliarists wear the same uniform and perform as professionally as our “Gold Side” counterparts. We earn our qualifications, because we are willing to serve.

Why do we serve? I think a common thread through each Auxiliarist is the pride they have for their country, a sense of patriotism and desire to help those who are sometimes in dire circumstances.

Why I serve? Because I can, because of my wife, Julie, and son, Tyler, who with the spouses and families of our active duty support us; because we believe in country and nation; and the service Team Coast Guard performs.

We are Semper Paratus.

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