Family is the foundation of American society. Families are at the core of a person’s development – an anchor, a source of strength, a driving influence to succeed in life. Perhaps no one recognizes the value of family more than the women and men who wear the uniform. The courage to serve in defense of one’s country is rooted in love of country and family.
Coast Guardsmen ask a great deal of their families. When Coast Guard cutters deploy for months at a time or when small boats and rescue helicopters head out into the teeth of a storm, it is Coast Guard families that “hold down the fort.” It’s Coast Guard spouses that are asked to put on a brave face for the kids when mom or dad heads out on a drug interdiction deployment or deploys to the Middle East in support of operations on the front lines of the War on Terror. The Coast Guard could not succeed without the support of its families.
Coast Guard families are also a significant part of the service’s proud history. There is the Berry family that has seen 22 members answer the call since 1897. There is the Munro family in which mother and son served their country in Coast Guard blue during World War II. More recently, there is the Allen family that saw the son of a chief petty officer ascend to Commandant of the Coast Guard. Currently serving is Master Chief Steven Hearn, the only Coastie to share the Silver Ancient Mariner title with his father.
“Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to get out and meet with many Coast Guard families. I see the challenges that they face every day. Their sacrifices, dedication and selflessness have not gone unnoticed, and through Presidential Proclamation, November has officially been declared Military Family Month,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt. “That said, I want to take this opportunity to thank all military families for everything that you do. It’s the support of the military family that allows military members to continue to focus on mission execution while being secure in the knowledge that things are running smoothly on the home front.”