Today I had the unique opportunity of marching with about eighty other cadets in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade. After the parade, while two other cadets and I were walking near Rockefeller Plaza, a local man stopped us and talked to us for a few minutes. He recognized our Coast Guard uniforms, and he thanked us for our service. He said that the Coast Guard was there for New York City on September 11, 2001, and that he will never forget how the Coast Guard helped to evacuate people from Manhattan after the planes hit the towers. He said that he feels safer knowing that the Coast Guard is guarding our waterways from other threats.
It was a huge and personal reminder that the work that Coast Guardsmen and women do MATTERS. I couldn’t be prouder to be wearing the same uniform as those who responded to the September 11th attacks, as well as countless other situations. I absolutely cannot wait to graduate in May and get out into the operational Coast Guard to be ready to join those men and women helping the people of the United States, especially during disasters like the September 11th attacks, or, more recently, Hurricane Sandy.
I’d also like to share with you one of my favorite quotes about the Coast Guard, which I think sums up the reason why a lot of people join:
“We do this job because every once in a while someone is out there without hope, desperately praying for their life, and we get to be the answer.” - ASM3 Vittone
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