Reservist

ISS1 2015

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Sector Baltimore Reservists Take Part in 9/11 Remembrances Lt. j.g. Brandon Robers remembers that day 13 years ago that profoundly changed his life. That day was Sept. 11, 2001. "It's an event that is pretty well seared in my mind, as I guess is the case with most people," said Robers, who was on a field exercise in Army basic training the day of the attack. Robers, who is with the Baltimore-based, all-reserve Mobile Support Unit (MSU), served in the Army for a decade before joining the Coast Guard. "Over the months that followed I found myself getting a lot of extra training within a couple of months in Europe, and within a few months after that, in Kuwait and then Iraq, and then back in Europe," he said. It was three years before he was back in the United States full time, he said. "It's had a fairly dramatic impact on the course of my life over the last 10 years and certainly on the course of the lives of 3,000 who lost their lives on 9/11 and all their families, and everyone else in the military who has been deployed all over the world ever since," he said. Honoring the Fallen Marking 13 years since the attack, Robers and other Baltimore reservists took part in charity events to raise funds, remember the victims, and honor those who have answered the call to serve. For his part, Petty Officer 1st Class Martin Misjuns, a gunners mate at Sector Baltimore, helped organize a charity stair climb on Sept. 13, in Lynchburg, Va., which honored the 343 firefighters killed in New York City on 9/11. Misjuns, who is a firefighter and paramedic for Lynchburg, said it is important to keep the memory of those who perished in the forefront of national consciousness. Participants in the Lynchburg 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, including firefighters in full gear, climbed 110 flights to honor the firefighters who rushed into the burning World Trade Center towers and were killed in the collapse of the buildings. The incredible bravery of the firefighters and others who gave their lives to help others that day must never be forgotten, Misjuns said. "As time moves on, we get further and further from the terror attacks, it's something that we need to continue to keep present just to remember the sacrifices that were made," he said. Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Central Virginia Burn Camp, he said. "It was a very rewarding feeling to be able to be a part of something that gives back to the community like that," Misjuns said. "At the end of the day, we raised about $10,000." Baltimore Run September 14 was a beautiful, late summer day for this year's memorial 5K in Baltimore according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Walker Stump-Coale. The peaceful day was a reminder back to that fateful day 13 years ago, he said. "Every year the weather is so great for this memorial run," he said. "Everyone comments on the weather; when they remember back to 9/11, they remember what a beautiful day it was." Stump-Coale, who is a storekeeper with the Mobile Support Unit, said the run makes him reflect on those who lost their lives and just how lucky he is to be alive and be able to take part in the event. He and Robers were among about 20 MSU members who took part in the Mercy Foot and Ankle Run to Remember. The race benefited Baltimore police and fire foundations to help families of fallen police or firefighters. "I just think it's great that the unit has always gotten people out to it. The participation has always been pretty high," Stump-Coale said. "I am really thankful for the command and the Coast Guard community for really always stepping up and participating in it." The course was difficult and uphill, Stump-Coale said, but he still managed to finish second in his age group, male aged 30-39, with a time of 19:20.5. Robers, a lawyer in his civilian job and a volunteer firefighter, placed first among firefighters, with a time of 24:40.9. "It's great to have the opportunity to, once a year, do something that's very public and very visible to remember all the sacrifices that so many people have made," Robers said. Pentagon Run Each year, members from Sector Baltimore also take part in a 5K memorial run that passes by the Pentagon. Sector had a great turnout this year, according to Lt. Cmdr. Brandon McGowan, who organized sector participation this year. Having a team participate in the Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K is a way for the Coast Guard to remember and honor the fallen, and help the 9/11- related and various charities the race supports, he said. "It's a great benefit for those charities and it's a great opportunity to recognize the efforts of first responders and to memorialize the sacrifices that were made on 9/11," he said. In addition to sector reservists, participants on the team included active duty members, family and friends. "We had an excellent showing from the sector in general and we even had a member of headquarters staff run with us as well," McGowan said. It was a meaningful experience to be on the team and represent the Coast Guard said Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Kohner who noted that the Sector Baltimore team placed third among military teams, with a time of 26:12. "It was a good race, it was for a good cause," Kohner, a yeoman, said. — Story by PA3 Lisa Ferdinando with contributions by Seaman Chiara Sinclair Lt. j.g. Brandon Robers (left) and SK2 Walker Stump-Coale at the end of the Run to Remember in Baltimore. Issue 1 • 2015 � RESERVIST 11

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