A time for giving thanks

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In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, Coast Guard Compass wants to give thanks to those who support us – personally and professionally – every day. We are thankful for our partners across America and around the world. We are thankful to the millions of boaters we come into contact with every day. We are also thankful to the military families and communities who give special meaning to what we do.

The Vaeth family is reunited as the Coast Guard Cutter Aspen and its crew come home following a five and a half month deployment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Rachel Polish)
The Vaeth family is reunited as the Coast Guard Cutter Aspen and its crew come home following a five and a half month deployment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Rachel Polish)

It is fitting that Thanksgiving shares November with Military Family Month. Our mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, daughters and sons are quite literally the inspiration for every man and woman who wears the uniform in service to our country and in defense of our freedoms. It is the promise of their love and support after the days, weeks, and months of a deployment that makes the mission that much more special. We are also grateful to the hundreds of communities who welcome our families with open arms during the tough transition periods of a new assignment.

We couldn’t accomplish our missions without the support of our many government and military partners. Joint operations with our brothers in arms from the Department of Defense, our sister agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, and first responders across the country ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad. The invaluable relationships we have with foreign navies and coast guards literally makes the world a safer place for all. And, the special partnerships we have with our friends at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Science Foundation, and Environmental Protection Agency allow us to play our part in protecting our planet and the many aquatic species we share it with.

Congressman Michaud poses with Matthew Drisko, Matthew's Grandfather Lester Drisko, and Commander Brian Gilda, Deputy Sector Commander for Sector Northern New England during the presentation of the Certificate of Valor to Matthew today.  Matthew was recognized for his heroic actions while assisting in the rescue of his grandfather while on a fishing trip on 26 May 2009.  His grandfather became tangled in a line and hauled overboard into 44-degree water.  After attempts to lift him back onboard proved futile, Matthew, the only other occupant of the vessel, secured a lifejacket to his grandfather and maneuvered the boat to a fishing vessel transiting nearby to get assistance.  He then vectored the fishing vessel to his grandfather's location where the occupants of the vessel helped pull him onboard, hypothermic but alive. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Congressman Michaud poses with Matthew Drisko, Matthew's Grandfather Lester Drisko, and Commander Brian Gilda, Deputy Sector Commander for Sector Northern New England during the presentation of the Certificate of Valor to Matthew today. Matthew was recognized for his heroic actions while assisting in the rescue of his grandfather while on a fishing trip. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Perhaps our most important partnership is with the American boater. Whether you are a Good Samaritan responding to a boater in distress, a watchful eye for America’s Waterway Watch, or simply a safe boater, you are critical to mission success and have our gratitude.

On behalf of the entire Coast Guard, we thank the American public for their support  of our missions and our people. Happy Thanksgiving!

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