I am proud to be part of an organization that gives back to the men and women of the Coast Guard, their families, and the cadets at the Coast Guard Academy.
I grew up on the coast in Connecticut and my grandfather and his brothers were members of the commercial fishing fleet here in Stonington. Many family members — from uncles to cousins to extended relatives — have fished these waters and come into contact with the Coast Guard on those fabled dark and stormy nights you hear about or see on television and in movies; many of these people lived because the Coast Guard responded to their distress calls in their times of greatest need.
When the Coast Guard responded and safely delivered a family member home, they did not just save a life; they kept a family together, gave a man the chance to be a father to his children and gave him an opportunity to continue making a living in a profession he loved so much.
Now that I am here at the Coast Guard Foundation, I interact with these real-life heroes on a regular basis.
I am always amazed by their dedication, their bravery, and their willingness to do what is necessary so that others may live.
From cadets at the Academy, to newly enlisted members, to those who fill out the enlisted ranks and junior officer corps, to senior leaders, to husbands, wives and kids — it never ceases to impress me that they are committed on every level to living their pledge to protect, defend and save.