This is a major reason why I’m proud to be a retired Coastie. Semper Paratus!
9/20 UPDATE: Here are more (non-Katrina-related) reasons to be proud of the USCG. Meanwhile, check out these CG photos from the Katrina effort … or search on the keyword “Katrina” here (log on with user name “uscg” and password “uscg”).
Let’s say you happen to be an intrepid Warrior of Allah™, and you’ve been thinking of putting your scuba training to good use by blowing up infidel port facilities. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the U.S. Coast Guard is ready to cut your dogpaddling jihad short. Witness the Underwater Port Security System.
Though the Coast Guard is a much smaller and less technologically-advanced service than the Navy, the world’s experts in search and rescue are still stretching their resources to the limit and taking emergency supplies to Thailand.
Via Brown Hound:
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed in the Bering Sea during a rescue of a drifting tanker’s crew. Six of the ten people aboard are still missing in 43-degree waters, 30-knot winds and 20-foot waves; the other four were rescued. The crash happened at about 6:15 PM last night, Alaska Time.
Average survival time in those conditions: roughly three hours.
In an ironic twist, the rescue swimmer assigned to the helo was left behind on the drifting tanker with its captain, so that the helo could carry one more civilian to safety. The two men were carried to safety within an hour by another helo. Immediately afterward, the tanker ran aground and broke in half.
Pray for the missing men, and thank the Lord for our Coast Guard.
Billy Tauzin III is the Republican running for Congress in Louisiana’s 3rd District. I say “running” because he’s facing a runoff on Saturday. I wish him success not only because he’s a strong-on-defense conservative, but also because I know from personal experience that he’s a genuinely upstanding and honest guy.
I knew him as “Bill” back when he was a year behind me at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was in my company (the Corps of Cadets had roughly 120 cadets in each of 8 companies) in 1991 when he was a swab. Although word got out that his father had some serious political horsepower as a member of the House committee that controlled the Coast Guard’s appropriations, Bill never mentioned it himself. He was determined to make it through 4th Class Year on his own, and it was much tougher in 1991 than it is now in the age of political correctness. Any time his father came up in conversation, Bill deftly changed the subject.
Bill never relied on his dad’s position to get himself an easy break. Instead there were times that he caught more than his fair share of flak from the upperclass cadets, just so they could demonstrate to everybody that Bill wasn’t getting any extra slack. It happened to all the high-profile kids, including sons of admirals and captains. Some couldn’t take it, but I never heard Bill complain.
Although as a 3/c Cadet I wasn’t permitted to fraternize with a swab, there was always an unspoken understanding that the 3/c were the unofficial mentors of the 4/c. We in ’94 kept an eye on the folks in ’95, and we got to know them pretty well. Although Bill didn’t graduate from the Academy (he finished at LSU instead), it wasn’t for lack of ability or grit. He got through Swab Year, and remained upbeat and personable even as he learned the toughness required to survive that marathon, for which I respect him. The guy was honest and a complete straight shooter.
I’ve looked at his stances on the issues in this race, and they match what I think is in the best interests of America. When I combine that with my personal experience with the man, I can wholeheartedly endorse Billy Tauzin III for Congress.
Consider contributing to his campaign, and if you’re registered in Louisiana’s 3rd District give him your vote this Saturday.