Reservist

ISS4 2017

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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A Reach Too Far? I am alarmed and disappointed to see the story PACIFIC REACH on the cover of Reservist Volume LXIV Issue 3, 2017, about a "partnership" with the Republic of Korea. The names Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve were intended to mean guarding the coast of the United States of America, certainly a gigantic task. The valid scope of our organization should not creep to cover the guarding of other coasts. Let other organizations, preferably Korean ones, assume that responsibility. That is a country which places severe limitations on the kinds and amounts of American products that can be imported and sold there. The extension of Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve resources to other coasts is an abuse of their Congressional appropriation. Was there not a recent request of the Commandant for more funds for fleet renewal? This and American coast-guarding are the proper recipients of those funds. — CDR James C. Poole, USCGR (Ret.) Sir, thank you for your letter. The Coast Guard DOES protect the homeland, but we are far from being limited to the continental United States PSUs are specially-designed units, and their primary mission is to protect the U.S. and its allies. Oftentimes, that mission takes them outside the U.S. where they provide unique expertise in port security and smallboat tactics. PSUs, which are funded by DoD, support and train our allies, keeping the fight farther from the shores of the U.S. In late August, I was on vacation in western North Carolina when I got a call from Senior Chief Ryan Doss. My family and I were staying so far back in the woods that internet was spotty, so it was the first I'd heard the news. "Houston is underwater," Ryan said. "It's like Katrina." A string of hurricanes sent the Coast Guard scrambling to cover three major regions, prompting the largest recall of reservists in seven years. My husband mobilized to support the National Strike Force. Like everyone else, I was focused on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the similarities to Hurricane Katrina, and the effects of apps and social media on rescue efforts. We created the magazine based on the response to Harvey and Irma. And then the full reports on just how badly Puerto Rico had been hit started rolling in. Just a month after I'd accepted this job as a civilian, I put my own uniform back on and left for the island. (Thanks for taking care of our boys, Mom.) I wish I could have seen Puerto Rico when all the trees were still standing. Driving in San Juan was like the wild, wild west – few street signs and no traffic lights. Aquadilla was even worse – power lines rested on top of empty businesses in town after town. We carried our phone chargers everywhere with us, and people stayed in tents or on air mattresses. Air conditioning was a luxury, and the generator noise was unending. Despite the logistics, Coast Guardsmen were excited to be there working, -- even on their off-days, when they volunteered to serve the surrounding community. It always made me smile when I'd ask a group of Coast Guardsmen if there were any reservists among them. They'd all look at each other, surprised to see which shipmates were from the Reserve. The question usually hadn't come up, because the reservists had blended so seamlessly. I met officers and enlisted who, a month earlier, had been police officers, salesmen, nurses, technicians, fire fighters, small business owners and farmers -- all people who'd dropped their plans on 48 hours' notice, explained to their bosses and families that they had to leave. Some reservists even left their own storm-damaged homes to put on their uniforms and report to work. It never failed to knock me back a step to hear their stories. As reservists, you know we don't do this job for the paycheck or the accolades. It's not always fun or convenient, but we do it because it calls to us, because it feels right to serve, and because we love doing this job alongside our brothers and sisters. A big part of this issue focuses on photos, because there's no better way to convey the scope of the problem our Service faced in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. In our next (winter) issue, we'll feature stories on the reservists themselves. I'm home now, but I miss Puerto Rico. I liked the PA crew I worked with, and I liked the people of Sector San Juan and Air Station Borinquen who showed such hospitality to their expanded, temporary crew. The San Juan community was sweet and welcoming, and the salsa music was joyful and intense. Man, the music just poured constantly from shops and cars and restaurants. One day, I'm going to go back to the island, maybe when the trees are green again and the generators are gone. Until then, there's still a lot of work to be done. Anastasia Devlin Editor-in-Chief Coast Guard Mutual Assistance has stepped up to provide more than $2 million to Coast Guard families affected by the hurricanes. (If you want to help out, please check out their website at www. CGMAHQ.org and click 'donate.') Rese R vist Magazine F R o M ou R Reade R s Rese R vist Magazine F R o M the edito R 2 RESERVIST � Issue 4 • 2017

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