The Coast Guard Foundation celebrated and honored the bravery and mission excellence of Coast Guard members who serve in Alaska on Wednesday, August 13 in Anchorage where a great group of supporters assembled to honor the work and commitment of the people serving in this challenging part of the country.
The crews of Air Station Kodiak and Sector Anchorage were recognized for their efforts during and after the rescue of the fishing vessel Alaska Mist which involved a Coast Guard member, Petty Officer Travis Obendorf, being critically injured during the initial rescue operation.
Coast Guard Foundation Senior Vice President Brad Sisley accepts a $40,000 gift to the Coast Guard Foundation from Fox News senior correspondent and world-class sailor Geraldo Rivera.
We were honored to be joined by several special guests, including Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft, and Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Pacific Area Commander, as well as Alaska's congressional delegation, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, Congressman Don Young, and Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell.
Both Vice Adm. Ray and Admiral Zukunft spoke of the importance of the Coast Guard Foundation's mission for supporting Coast Guard members and families, especially when tragedy strikes.
"You rescue the rescuers" said Admiral Zukunft.
"Every single time there's a tragedy, or a catastrophic event, the first call we get is from the Coast Guard Foundation. We don't even get a chance to call you. You are on the phone offering your help," said Vice Adm. Ray.
Also in attendance were Fox News senior correspondent and world-class sailor Geraldo Rivera, and Captain Sig Hansen, from Discovery's hit television series, Deadliest Catch. Mr. Rivera and his wife, Erica, presented a $40,000 gift to the Coast Guard Foundation in honor of Hansen. The gift will support morale projects for Coast Guard members stationed in Alaska. The two men spoke fondly of the Coast Guard Foundation and the men and women who wear the uniform.
"My old man always said, 'Give credit where credit is due' – and you guys deserve it," the typically laconic Hansen said.
Rivera's former father-in-law served in the Coast Guard in Alaska during World War II.
"I love the Coast Guard," Rivera said.