Reservist

ISS1 2018

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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Brazos Station's Hispanic Lifesavers and the Florida Keys Hurricane Story by William H. Thiesen, Ph.D., Historian, Coast Guard Atlantic Area Hispanic-American personnel have served in search and rescue operations since the nineteenth century. For example, in 1899, James Lopez of the Provincetown Life- Saving Station in Massachusetts became the first Hispanic- American service member to receive the Silver Lifesaving Medal. But the greatest number of Hispanic American personnel served not in stations along the East Coast, but in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. In South Padre, Texas, Coast Guard Station Number 222, also known as the Brazos Life-Saving Station (currently named Coast Guard Station South Padre Island), was known for employing several distinguished Hispanic lifesavers. In 1897, surfmen Telesford Pena and Ramon Delgado became two of the first Hispanic Americans to join the United States Life-Saving Service. Over the years, Brazos men endured numerous storms and hurricanes, including the deadly Galveston Hurricane of 1900; however, none of these storms proved as memorable as the killer storm of 1919. Early September 1919 found Hispanic-American lifesavers Pablo Valent, Mariano Holland and Indalecio Lopez serving at the Brazos Station. Valent was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Spanish immigrant Antonio Valent and native Texan, Romana Dominguez Valent. In 1912, Valent joined the U.S. Life-Saving Service and would a rare photograph of the Brazos Life-Saving Station (later the South Padre i sland Station) in 1919. Coast Guard Collection Rese R vist Magazine a l ight on Yeste RY ea R 32 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2018

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