A Big Day for the Nation's Coast Guard - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/07/04

A Big Day for the Nation's Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard's celebrating 214 years of service to our nation. On Saturday, Coast Guard members and their families gathered at Memorial Park on Tybee Island to honor the group. "It's become like a second family to me, because I've been in for so long, its an important day," said Aviation Survival Technician, John Isbell.

Reaching a milestone like this doesn't come without some changes, especially after the September Eleventh attacks. "Some of our helicopters are armed and we do a lot more patrols along the coast, especially in harbors that are of high interest," explained Isbell.

But even with more duties to add to their list, Coast Guard members say they can't imagine doing anything else."It was always fun to be of service, but now its beyond that. You get the feeling you're really doing something that matters," exclaimed Coast Guard Auxiliary member, Donald Becker.

Although the Coast Guard has seen many changes through out the year, officials say the one thing that has remained the same is teamwork. Saturday's party included both the Coast Guard and their faithful volunteers, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Squad. "Most people don't know all the work the Coast Guard does. They're a dedicated, hardworking group of people, we're just thrilled to be able to support them in any way we can," said Bill Jackson, Coast Guard Auxiliary Member.

The Coast Guard's official birthday was Wednesday, August fourth, but they decided to wait until Saturday to celebrate, so more people could attend.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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