Coast Guard Cities: A home away from home

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Grand Haven, Mich., Coast Guard City, USA
Grand Haven, Mich., Coast Guard City, USA. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard is an extended family. The communities that surround, embrace and support the Coast Guard are part this family. Celebrating 221 years of service to the Nation, the Coast Guard commemorates and thanks the communities that have given its members a home away from home.

“Coast Guard Day has always been an occasion to celebrate our history, our people and their devoted service to their Nation,” said Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, Coast Guard Vice Commandant. “It’s the story of the American people and towns – the hundreds of small coastal communities where our Service members and their families have lived, worked or grew up.”

Established in 1998, the designation of Coast Guard City, USA, was enacted to formally certify the city of Grand Haven, Mich., as the first Coast Guard City.  This designation was created to honor and recognize communities who provide a supportive, on-going relationship to their local Coast Guard units.

A plaque depicting the 12 Coast Guard Cities and the dates they were enacted. U.S. Coast Guard graphic.
A plaque depicting the 12 Coast Guard Cities and the dates they were enacted. U.S. Coast Guard graphic.

A city, municipality or county earns the distinction of Coast Guard City by making special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the Coast Guard men and women assigned to their area. Coast Guard Cities regularly reach out to their local Coast Guardsmen and their families to make them feel a part of the community.

Sitka, Alaska, became the 12th and most recent city to be declared by a Coast Guard Commandant’s Proclamation as Coast Guard City on Feb. 14, 2011.

“The City and Borough of Sitka loves their Coast Guard; it shows in the support and kindness the Coast Guard men and women and their families receive from the generous citizens of Sitka,” said Capt. Buddy Custard, 17th Coast Guard District Chief of Staff. “It is comforting for us to be a part of a community who looks after our loved ones when we are deployed.”

This enduring partnership between these cities and the Coast Guard is much more than a designation. It builds bonds between residents and Coast Guard members to help strengthen and safeguard the places that we all call home.

To find out how your city, town or municipal can become a Coast Guard City, click here.

The Proclamation declaring Sitka, Alaska as the 12th Coast Guard City.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.
The Proclamation declaring Sitka, Alaska as the 12th Coast Guard City. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

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