Once a month, Coast Guard Compass 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 New Years and all through the station,
the Coasties are stirring with anticipation.
Their time on duty is almost complete,
they long for the moment, their families they’ll greet.
Small boats are patrolling all manner of missions,
from drug interdiction to ensuring the safety of those who are fishing.
A spouse on the homefront is cooking and cleaning,
while making memories with children that have lasting meaning.
Air crews in their hangers remain at the ready,
to respond in the storm when ships become unsteady.
Their loved ones at home closely monitor the weather,
awaiting the time they’re safely back together.
A member stands watch in the Middle East,
thinking of home and the holiday feast.
From state-side arrives boxes of mail,
care packages lovingly crafted come without fail.
The cutter departs for months at a time,
they’re off to protect the homeland from threats and crime.
The days come and go – the pier’s finally in sight,
family and friends hold up signs and smile with delight!
Many Coast Guard members are serving in far-away places,
while their families are waiting on hometown bases.
It’s not always easy, but they persevere,
their selfless sacrifice is something to truly revere.
As the end of this decade draws near, I want to express my appreciation and wish you a Happy New Year!