Once a month, Coast Guard All Hands will feature “Dear Coast Guard Family,” a column for Coast Guard families by Coast Guard spouse Rachel Conley. Rachel is married to her high school sweetheart, Chief Warrant Officer James Conley, and is the mother of three children. Rachel passionately serves as a Coast Guard Ombudsman and advocate of Coast Guard families. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the United States Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year Award.
‘Twas the night before a patrol and all through housing
Coast Guard members were preparing as their little ones were drowsing
The sea bag was placed by the backdoor with care
Knowing that tomorrow would soon be there
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of their Coastie danced in their heads
The couple cherished every moment and talked late into the night
They had just closed their eyes as the sun rose into sight
When on the nightstand, there arose such a clatter
They sprung out of bed to see what was the matter
It was quickly discovered that morning was here
It was the day they had anticipated, the deployment is near
The family gathered together and said their goodbyes
Everyone hoping the time quickly flies
One more “I love you” they said face to face
It was the last time for months they would be in the same place
With the shore ties removed, the cutter departs
The crew is held closely in their loved ones’ hearts
Duty to country is a valiant reason
For members to be gone this holiday season
The member stands watch in a far-away place
While the family awaits Santa on a hometown base
Their missions are different, but their goals are the same
And after much perseverance, the day finally came
The cutter crests the horizon, it’s a magical feeling
The love in the air is oh-so-revealing
With eyes full of emotion, they sweetly embrace
“Home” is a feeling and it’s surely this place!
With great appreciation for your service and sacrifice,
Official North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker: For over 60 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), have tracked Santa’s flight. Through the NORAD Santa Tracker, you can follow Santa’s magical journey!
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