Veteran’s Day is definitely a special holiday. This Veteran’s Day weekend, I participated in the nationally televised Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City. The Coast Guard was the featured service this year, which is good, considering all that we have done in recent weeks to help the New York and New Jersey area to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
Those of us who marched in the parade woke up at 0630 (on a Sunday, no less!) and rode busses into downtown New York. After getting our coffee fixes, we formed up and stood in a loose formation for approximately an hour and a half. Of course, we looked like slackers next to the Cape May CCs (company commanders—the recruits’ cadre) and the latest recruit graduates. They were super locked down and professional. Finally, we stepped off and quickly marched through the parade route. I hope that we all looked good as we marched past the reviewing stand in front of the Commandant, ADM Papp. It was amazing to hear all the cheering and feel the positive energy from the onlookers who love the Coast Guard! That was the best part of the parade.
We got a bit of time off in the city after the parade. Wandering the city in SDBs and being thanked for my service was an eye-opening experience. I always feel awkward when someone thanks me for serving in the Coast Guard. Yet I smile, thank them, and move ahead. One of my teachers described situations like these as being thanked for your future service; I’m glad to stand watch over Americans both on and off the water, both now and in the future. Military service isn’t for everyone; it demands so much of you that a simple explanation cannot even begin to illuminate. However, with simple thanks comes heartfelt admiration and gratitude. Thank you to those of you who understand what military members go through daily.
I’d like to close by saying, “Thank you” for supporting the troops in any way you possibly can. Let us never forget what they have done for themselves, their families, communities, and country.
(As always, please email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu if you have any questions or comments!)
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