August 4th is the US Coast Guard’s 226th birthday and there is always a big celebration out at the Coast Guard base in Kodiak. You
might wonder why an online seafood business would even mention Coast Guard Day, so let me explain.
The Coast Guard brought my family and I to Kodiak over 37 years ago. At that time, my wife and I were newlyweds on a great adventure to the Last Frontier.
This was before the internet, iPhones, satellite tv, so back then Alaska really did seem remote. Some of the advice we received from various “old hands”
who had already done an Alaskan tour was “bring canned goods and toilet paper” – so we did! When we arrived in the middle of a fierce February snow
storm, Kodiak seemed even more remote after leaving New Orleans, yet from the moment we set foot on Kodiak Island, we knew it was home.
Two of our three boys were born in Kodiak. Our oldest was one of the last babies born in the old Navy Hospital that was later demolished and replaced by
a child care center. We stayed for almost three years before being reassigned to Oregon, but ten years later managed to get another assignment back
to Kodiak and have now lived here for 25 years. Kodiak is home.
The Coast Guard is an integral part of life in Kodiak. Kodiak was the seventh community to be designated a “Coast Guard City”. Now 20 communities have
achieved that designation. In order to become a Coast Guard City, each community must meet certain criteria that centers around the relationship between
the local community and the Coast Guard units in the area. The City of Kodiak has enjoyed a very close relationship with the Coast Guard for many years.
Each year the Chamber of Commerce hosts a Coast Guard appreciation dinner that allows local residents to spend an evening with active duty members
and their spouses and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. Throughout the rest of the year, Coast Guard members and spouses contribute to the community
in many other ways from coaching sporting teams to working in hospitals, retail stores and assisting in schools.
The Coast Guard adds to the richness and quality of life in Kodiak. When you “live on the rock”, you quickly learn to rely on each other. We are ever grateful
and always appreciative of the work the men and women of the Coast Guard do in performing life saving missions and support for our fishing fleet. Operating
in Alaska’s harsh weather requires courage, devotion to duty, and professionalism that sets the Coast Guard apart as a military force. In return, we
have embraced the Coast Guard and welcomed Coasties into to our island community – just as we were welcomed 37 years ago.
For that, we want express our appreciation to the Coast Guard on their 226th birthday and thank them for being Semper Paratus “Always Ready”.
Finally, we also want to note that 2016 is the Centennial Year of Coast Guard aviation, so for the airdales – congrats on an amazing 100 years!