Six months after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, the final of three back-to-back tropical storms during 2017's historic hurricane season, Coast Guard Foundation President Susan P. Ludwig visited the island to meet the Coast Guard first responders and families to thank them for their incredible service and sacrifice.
Upon arriving on the island Captain Eric King, Commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan, introduced Susan to the service members whose spouses and children received Coast Guard Foundation support following their evacuation to Florida. During the meeting these heroes told stories of their humanitarian mission on the island during their 12+ hour work days and how they volunteered on their off hours to help those in harms way. Throughout, they also spoke of their relief knowing family members were safe and being taken care of in Florida.
Many Coast Guard members came to thank us for all we do, and I was always mindful to say it is because of our generous supporters we can be there to rescue the rescuers.
Afterwards, CAPT King led Susan on a tour of Sector San Juan to see the damage done to the base and to meet with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dixon, whose crew members are still conducting life-saving missions on Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands.
In August and September 2017, the Coast Guard rescued over 12,000 lives between Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria. The Coast Guard Foundation immediately activated its Disaster Relief and Response Fund to assist the Coast Guard families impacted by these storms and continues to be there for these heroes.