There are many in Juneau with some sort of attachment to the Coast Guard. Besides those on active duty or in the Auxiliary, there are many retired. In addition, there are many who, by virtue of either an occasional association with the sea, or virtue of a livelihood from the sea, feel a kinship with the Coast Guard.
I would opine that even among these groups, all close to the Coast Guard, there are many who are unaware of the numerous Coastguardsmen who have fought and bled in every war since 1790. I wonder if many are aware that some 10 percent of the Coast Guard's oceangoing (high-endurance) cutters have been serving the country in the Persian Gulf since soon after the Kuwait liberation over a decade ago.
In addition, Coast Guard teams served over the last decade on Navy ships in the Persian Gulf assisting enforcement of the embargoes against Iraq.
The Coast Guard recently suffered its first fatal casualty in Iraq. At the height of that war, the Coast Guard responded with over a dozen major and coastal cutters, as well as thousands of shore-side port-security sailors - mostly reservists.
This Sunday, on Channel 38, Fox network will air an hour-long story of the Coast Guard on "War Stories with Oliver North." I commend this story to both those who know a lot about the Coast Guard, as well as those who know little. (It airs at 8 p.m. EST, and 4 p.m. local AST)
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
Juneau Empire ©2015. All Rights Reserved.