Mrs. Becky Lawrence poses for a photo with her husband and daughter. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.

Building a community where America’s day begins

The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year award recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard ombudsman. This year, that award went to Mrs. Becky Lawrence, ombudsman for Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WPB 215). Lawrence dove in to help her community in Guam as a volunteer while also dedicating her time to support Sequoia’s members and dependents. She is an outstanding role model for all Coast Guard ombudsmen, and her selection highlights the accomplishments of an invaluable command representative.


Coast Guard Shallow-Water Response Boat Team 3 crew members and members of the North Carolina National Guard assist residents of Old Dock, N.C., evacuate after flooding forced them from their homes Sept. 17, 2018. The Coast Guard conducted search and rescue operations in support of state and local emergency operation centers. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Kelly.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard’s storm warriors fight Hurricane Florence

As some North Carolinians were returning to their homes and recovering from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, a new storm was tracking towards the East Coast. On Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, at 7:15 a.m., Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 mph. However, the flooding associated with Florence would prove more devastating than just hurricane-force winds. Hurricane Florence dropped more than 33 inches of rain in portions of North Carolina, causing widespread destruction that people could never have imagined.


Locals wave for help in the central highlands of Puerto Rico. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: “Semper Paratus”—Coast Guard men and women in Hurricane Maria

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist J. Edwin Nieves compiled oral histories from Coast Guard members who responded in the wake of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Every one of these recorded oral histories proved compelling and revealed the commitment to service, devotion to duty and willingness to make sacrifices that characterizes the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard community. Each of the interviewees made sacrifices for others and endured personal privations.


A wreath to honor five Coast Guard members who lost their lives 87-year ago is prepared before a memorial service held by Coast Guard Station Atlantic City members at the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 6, 2019. On March 6, 1932, five members of Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Atlantic City attempted to search for a missing fishing boat in a nor’easter off Atlantic City, which resulted in the death of five crew members. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

Coast Guard remembers fallen shipmates in Atlantic City rescue tragedy of 1932

On March 6, 1932, five Coast Guardsmen lost their lives while attempting to assist a fishing boat off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J. The ripples from the tragedy are still felt today as members of Coast Guard Station Atlantic City hold an annual memorial and wreath laying ceremony.

“We hold this memorial annually to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service, and who are part of our proud heritage as lifesavers and as Coast Guard men and women.” – Lt. Taylor Smith


Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Nicholas Woolfolk poses for a photo outside Hamilton and Chase Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., February 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: First Class Cadet Nicholas Woolfolk

Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Nicholas Woolfolk, a mechanical enginnering major from Accokeek, Maryland, uses his position as a member of the Coast Guard Academy Leadership Diversity Advisory Council and president of the Genesis Council to help his fellow shipmates feel welcome and appreciated for who they are. Woolfolk takes pride in being a beacon of light on campus, an advocate for love, authenticity and respect. Read more here to learn how Woolfolk means to make his mark on the Academy.


Volunteers from Coast Guard Headquarters pose for a group shot after preparing 210 gift bags at a Gift Drive Packing Party for teens in local communities in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Holiday Adopt-A-Teen Gift Bag volunteers

Coast Guard Headquarters volunteers put together 210 holiday gift bags for teenagers in low-income families in the D.C. area. Forty volunteers packed, loaded and delivered the gifts to the D.C. Housing Authority to distribute to the community. Programs like the Holiday Adopt-A-Teen Gift Drive highlight the Coast Guard’s values of honor, respect and devotion to duty – caring for and serving our community.


Chief Petty Officer Paul Taylor, a marine science technician, oversees vessel operations at Pitts Bayou in Panama City, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug.

Clean-up crew: Facing aftermath from one of Florida’s most destructive hurricanes

The Florida Panhandle experienced pure devastation from Hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018. It ripped through coastal towns and made its way inland, driving people from their homes and leaving thousands without power and fresh water. Relief efforts from federal and state agencies, as well as local and out-of-state volunteers, responded to help displaced survivors. The Coast Guard set up an Incident Command Post in Miramar Beach, Florida, in an effort to remove environmental threats from local waterways.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Brian Churchill

Last fall, the White House Fellows program accepted its second Coast Guard reservist in more than 50 years. Lt. Brian Churchill was honored to be selected for the WHF program; among others, the program accepted a neurosurgeon, several Ivy-league graduates, a software CEO and a Rhodes scholar. The program was established in 1964 to give young leaders the opportunity to get first hand, high-level experience with the inner workings of the federal government.


Members of the disaster relief volunteer crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City, Fla., pose for a group photo with local resident, Mr. Clause, after assisting with clean up after Hurricane Michael. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dragin.

Standing in the gap: Station Panama City

With ingenuity and no small degree of resourcefulness, Kannan and a small crew of station personnel managed to put together a disaster response trailer to get out to Coast Guard members’ homes to assess the damage. It didn’t take long to figure out how extensive the damage was and quickly set out to assist the city in helping residents. The recovery process continues but the crews have made a big impact so far.


Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Casey Lawrence and her spouse, Justin, also a Coast Guard member, stand with their children on Base Kodiak, Alaska, Nov. 3, 2018. Casey and her family enjoy all that Kodiak has to offer and they recently purchased their retirement home in Kodiak. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen.

Celebrating Military Family Month: It’s an Alaskan and family thing

Military families sacrifice a lot for their nation such as deployments, missing out on milestones and relocation. Military Family Month was created to celebrate the service and sacrifice of the patriots and families who make up America’s military. For one Coast Guard family, staying involved in the community and being active outdoors has helped Petty Officer 1st Class Casey Lawrence and her family stay resilient and loving the Alaskan lifestyle.


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