As guests filled the 15-story National Building Museum in Washington DC on Sept. 28, they were acutely aware of how much had changed. The venue, the patriotic décor, and the guest list were similar to past years. But COVID-19 safety precautions reminded those present this event was unlike the 2019 occasion when they last gathered.
The annual Tribute to the United States Coast Guard in our Nation’s Capital celebrates the Coast Guard and its work to ensure America’s safety, security, and economic prosperity. It also raises funds for Coast Guard Foundation programs that support Coast Guard members and their families when and where they are most in need.
Culminating months of planning, this year’s event aimed to provide participants with an inspirational and safe environment. In addition to implementing the District of Columbia’s indoor masking directive, attendees and staff were required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test among other measures.
“Despite the continuing risks from COVID-19, the Coast Guard’s mission goes on,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation.
“Coast Guard members have endured so much in the last 18-months, from the pandemic to historic natural disasters. And throughout, they continued serving their communities. That is why it was imperative for the Coast Guard Foundation to move forward and raise needed funds for vital programs that support Coast Guard members and families while also adapting to minimize risk and maximize the confidence of guests.”
Coast Guard Vice Commandant Admiral Linda Fagan thanked the Foundation and its partners for the programs including disaster relief, morale and wellness assistance, and education grants for Coast Guard members, children and spouses. “Ultimately, I see Coast Guard Foundation support as taking care of our Coasties and their families,” said Fagan.
“And this is what enables our members to focus on operations, conduct frontline operations day in and day out, and serve the Nation. Thank you, Coast Guard Foundation. Thank you for always being ready, for your tireless support to our members and our families. The Coast Guard will always be ready to support the needs of the Nation, and I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of all our members.”
The Coast Guard Foundation also honored Lockheed Martin for its contributions to programs that benefit Coast Guard women and men, other military members, and students.
“We are proud to support the important mission of the U.S. Coast Guard, to serve the American public each and every day,” said Stephanie Hill, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.
“From long-range air missions with the C-130J to safe commerce supported by Vessel Traffic Management Systems, members of the Lockheed Martin team are focused on helping the Coast Guard succeed,” she continued. “And with the MH-60T Jayhawks that’ll be flying into the 2030’s and systems on the National Security Cutters that will be in service until the 2050’s, you can continue to count on us to be there. We at Lockheed Martin applaud the life-changing work that the Coast Guard Foundation provides.”
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz summed up the evening with thanks to supporters. “We sleep well at night knowing that this well-oiled machine called the Coast Guard Foundation…is there to solve the toughest problems,” said Shultz.
So tonight on behalf of the 42,000 uniformed men and women on active-duty, the 6,100 reservists, our 9,000, plus or minus civilians, and our 25,000 Auxiliarists, I just want to throw a resounding shout out to the Coast Guard Foundation.
The event raised more than $950,000 to support Coast Guard Foundation programs including ongoing disaster relief for Coast Guard families who lost homes and property last month during Hurricane Ida.
Cover Photo: ABC Investigative Correspondent Kyra Phillips and Fox News Co-Anchor John Roberts emcee the 17th Annual Tribute to the United States Coast Guard in our Nation's Capital at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, Sept. 28, 2021.