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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Devoted to Others Story and Photo by PA3 Jourdin Bego Honor, respect and devotion to duty are well-known Coast Guard core values. However, one Florida reservist has been described as embodying devotion to duty both on and off the job. Chief Petty Officer Harold Roebuck, a Machinery Technician stationed at Coast Guard Base Miami, Fla., selflessly devotes his time to multiple volunteer organizations while balancing his life between the Reserve, his civilian job and his family. He said he wouldn't have it any other way. "I am not sacrificing anything to volunteer, because I enjoy doing it," said Roebuck, who enjoys having a "little brother." A San Juan, Puerto Rico native, Roebuck volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast once a week. Often, he visits his little brother during school lunch breaks providing mentorship and assistance with school work. Roebuck also serves as vice chair for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors of Highlands County. "Being the vice chair shares similarities with my job as the Reserve department head in the Coast Guard," said Roebuck. "My commitment to others and making sure different projects are coordinated and getting done as smoothly as possible is a priority." While maintaining his civilian job as a service technician at a marina in central Florida, Roebuck also volunteers with the United Way for six weeks every year as a member of the Community Investment Team. The team requires its members encompass a diverse set of skills including strategic planning, outcome measurement, community leadership and financial expertise. Despite long hours, Roebuck says his family is supportive, including his wife. The two have been married for 20 years. "He is one of the finest individuals I have ever met," said Gail Roebuck. "He gives a lot of himself, from the volunteer organizations to his family. He is dedicated and truly an outstanding person." Roebuck recently retired after 23 years serving with the Highlands County Road and Bridge Department as the road maintenance supervisor. Additionally, he has logged 24 years in the Armed Forces counting his Army, Florida Army National Guard, and time in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. His service includes a four- year stint with Port Security Unit 307 with which he deployed to Boston, Mass., for two months and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for six months and Deep Water Horizon for two months. Despite all his accomplishments, Roebuck says his greatest achievement was being promoted to chief petty officer. Roebuck's full-speed-ahead attitude provides the determination to advance in his career and set high goals. He hopes to make senior chief in the next year and stay in the service as long as possible. � effect of mud, rocks, cars, houses and trees," said Olson. "Representatives from Washington Task Force 1 compared the recovery effort to the World Trade Center bombing. Only this time, it was logs and mud rather than concrete and steel." After five days of manual digging using shovels and their hands, responders were able to bring in heavy equipment and the response efforts became more organized. The slide area was divided into eastern and western divisions, with multiple zones where equipment operators lifted layers of mud and debris in an attempt to locate and remove human remains. "This situation is emblematic of what I have come to expect from Petty Officer Olson — a strong man devoted to his team, committed to his country and consistent in demonstrating that doing the right thing at all times is a core characteristic of his honor, respect and devotion to duty, in and out of uniform," said Hooper. "I have the greatest admiration for what he did out there. It is a real privilege to work with a man of his caliber and character." Olson spent more than 260 hours over 24 days helping affected Oso residents with recovery efforts, alongside community members, firefighters and EMS personnel. Not only did he provide the technical expertise required to safely navigate the recovery area, but he worked closely with the chaplain from Naval Station Everett, Wash., to provide emotional support for those who lost, and in some cases helped to recover their loved ones. "This event occurred roughly six miles from my house and I knew, or was familiar with, a majority of the 43 individuals that lost their lives," said Olson. "I am honored to have had the privilege to serve my community and help my friends in their time of need. I also need to thank the command and senior leadership at PSU 313 because without their support I would not have been able to help for so long." The town of Oso was thrust into the national spotlight when the deadliest landslide event in U.S. history changed the town's landscape forever. Ryan Olson is one example of the resilience of Oso residents. While the eyes of the Nation may be diverted to other catastrophic events, his actions and those of the professional and volunteer rescuers certainly represent the best of humanity. � MKC Harold Roebuck Roebuck and his family. Issue 1 • 2015 � RESERVIST 37

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