Hillbilly in the Coast Guard

Hillbilly in the Coast Guard

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John Crowder was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. He graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1960 and enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard for four years. He later re-enlisted for another six years. His experiences during this time helped him discover another world outside the hills of West Virginia. After one final personal tragedy in his life, he returned to his birthplace and began life anew. He is a graduate of West Virginia State University and a retired chemical plant electrician with two adult children and four grandchildren. This book was written to tell others how military life can help a young man gain the necessary self-confidence to overcome life's obstacles. The author describes many of the men he worked with on a daily basis and how humor can be found in all walks of life. The writer also gives insight into his personal life as he struggled to support his family. Today's Coast Guard is a far cry from those lean years in the 1960's. The other Guardians who read this memoir will recognize the great differences in technologies between then and now. Life was different when the author served his ten years active duty as a Coast Guardsman. Airconditioned vessels were few-and-far-between. Isolated duty tours on LORAN stations and lighthouses were common. Many of the enlisted personnel qualified for food stamps, but very few would apply.Medical care was sparse unless you were stationed near a military installation with those medical facilities or a Public Health Service Hospital.Work uniforms for enlisted up to and including E-6 were chambray shirts, bell-bottomed dungarees, and a blue ball cap or white hat. Dress uniforms were either dress blues of bell-bottomed trousers and a jumper with white piping or a white uniform of the same except no piping, and a white hat. The author describes a few situations and conditions that give a very small overview of the older Coast Guard. In 1960, the Coast Guard was under the U. S. Treasury Department. Later it was moved to the newly-formed Department of Transportation. Some called this department a wet NASA. The orange slash was added to floating units and aircraft about 1968. Now, the Guardians are under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security. But as we all know, if war is declared, the CG will go under the good ole'U. S. Navy and the Department of Defense. The author was proud to have served as a Guardian, and he is proud of you men and women who are now serving. Those he has had the pleasure of meeting and serving with in today's Coast Guard are generally more aware of the world situation and are certainly better trained than we were. Semper Paratus, always ready, is what we want to be as one of the armed forces of The United States of America. I always pray that God will bless you in your service to keep us safe and free.When I arrived in Mobile, I checked in at the Choctaw Point Coast Guard Base, where the Salvia was moored. ... aquot;Which one is the Salvia}aquot; aquot;Shea#39;s the last one on the right, aquot; he said. aquot;Theya#39;re loading up for a trip now.aquot; aquot;Thanks. Do they have a quartermaster watch on the dock? ... The Coast Guard base support and repair shops were on my right in a one story brick building about two hundred feet long.

Title:Hillbilly in the Coast Guard
Author:John Crowder
Publisher:Dog Ear Publishing - 2011-04


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