Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Always Prepared

Northwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Temperature 25, wind 30 knots and gusting, seas eight to ten feet, water temperature 35 degrees. A ship founders and sinks. 43 of her crew are rescued. 5 lost, but 43 are saved.

Our armed forces are getting well-deserved praise in these perilous times for “defending freedom” and “spreading democracy” and “keeping America safe.” But in times of war and of peace, with a motto of “Semper Paratus,” these men and women stand “always prepared.”
Coast Guard43 families have their loved ones safe at home today because these men and women stood ready, faced nature at its worst, and brought their people home safe. It’s what they do.

I served in the Navy and we made jokes about the, shall we say, limited geographic area in which the Coast Guard served. But when a call for help comes these men and women cast off lines and put to sea in weather that would have us running for cover in ships far bigger than those vessels they call “cutters.”

Boaters and ship masters piss and moan about the regulations these guys impose, but when a vessel is in peril that white cutter with the orange stripe is a very welcome sight indeed.

When the engine’s failed and the gunwale’s down,
When it’s freezing cold and black as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat,
When it seems as if all is lost and there’s no hope left,

Call the Coast Guard.


  1. Anonymous8:12 AM

    The Coast Guard has a tough job in both peace and war. They're under-appreciated and pretty much taken for granted until somebody needs help. They patrol our shores and are patroling the Arabian Gulf too. They help boaters who are in trouble and folks who are trapped by floods.God love them.

  2. Anonymous9:37 AM

    underfunded, and under apppreciated (until the sh*t hits the fan). Then they are appreciated, but prob still underfunded. and over-extended. but they still get the job done... like just about anyone in uniform.