It has been my greatest pleasure to serve as your Coast Guard Air Station Commander for the past two years. I looked back on my time here and came to the realization that although there are many wonderful years ahead for my family and myself in the Coast Guard, nothing will top our experience living in this great Coast Guard City.
I leave this command assignment with no regrets — and that is a good place for an outgoing Commanding Officer to be. Every day in command, I wanted the Air Station leadership to ensure three things: that we were providing the Guardians which Great Lakes deserve; that we were having a lasting positive impact on the lives of our personnel and their families; and that our Air Station was making a difference in the Traverse City community. I felt that a day without having an impact on another person’s life or somewhere in the community was a day wasted.
Words can’t express the respect and passion that I have for the Coast Guard men and women of Air Station Traverse City. In my 27 years of service, I have never seen a group of Coasties that have demonstrated, every day, such a great sense of purpose, unending dedication, and genuine pride in saving lives, protecting the Homeland and serving their community. They are an elite courageous group that is ready for the call and will never let the citizens of the Great Lakes nor our nation down - I can assure you. Worldwide and here locally, I have watched them face down danger; work tirelessly through holidays, weekends and nights; risk their lives to save a life; chase down drug runners; battle hurricanes; stop the illegal flow of migrants; brave the harshest of weather; respond to catastrophic flooding. I have seen them laugh and cry but most moving to me is the way they care for each other.