Happy Birthday to Our United States Coast Guard!

US Coast Guard Birthday

On August 4th this year, our country will be celebrating the 226th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Coast Guard. The organization whose roots began as part of the U.S. Treasury was founded by Alexander Hamilton, school books tell us. Today the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security, and the two centuries in between hold substantial history for all of us.

The Coast Guard was founded as a response to early smugglers and thieves, whose actions threatened “coastal waters, ports and maritime regions of national security.” Only ten ships were originally commissioned by President George Washington at a time when thousands of lives were threatened. Web site “Go Coast Guard,” notes Coast Guardsmen protect “bridges, tunnels, and everything in between…the Coast Guard is protecting it in 57 ways every single day.”

There’s currently a commemorative Coast Guard stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office that’s still available. The postal info sheet notes, “The Coast Guard has served alongside the other armed forces in nearly every armed conflict in the nation’s history.” Their motto is, rightfully, “Semper Paratus” or “Always Ready.”

Next time you hear of an incident at sea where someone falls off of a ship, or someone is arrested for trying to smuggle contraband, or a maritime crisis occurs, think first of the U.S. Coast Guard and their critical role in keeping our country safe.

Do you have a family member or friend who served in the USCG? If so, remember to thank them for their service and tell them you remember the birthday of our Coast Guard. There are 32 veterans listed on the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial wall presently, who belonged to the U.S. Coast Guard.

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I was curious about who might have served in the USCG among famous entertainers and performers and recognized many of them.  A few names you might recognize from the entertainment industry: golfer, Arnold Palmer; author, Alex Haley; journalist and TV anchor, Walter Cronkite; actors Lloyd Bridges, and his sons Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges; entertainer, Buddy Ebsen; actor, Humphrey Bogart; actor Sid Caesar, TV weatherman, Al Roker; writer/producer/director, Blake Edwards; actor, Caesar Romero; costume designer, Edith Head;  and a host of senators, members of Congress and athletes. You’ll enjoy reviewing a complete list here:  http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/celeb.asp

Whenever I go out to our wonderful Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial, the first place I head is to the Wall Area D4, to see my family members memorialized. Raymond Callaway Jones, my grandfather, and Manley Wright Jones, Jr., my great uncle, are remembered there, for their service to the U.S. Army. When you visit the Memorial, who is it you are there to see, honor, and remember?

Do you have a family member or friend who served in the USCG? If so, remember to thank them for their service and tell them you remember the birthday of our Coast Guard. There are 32 Coast Guardsmen listed on the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor presently.  The term “Guardsmen” applies to both men and women serving in the USCG. Sometimes you hear the term “Coasties,” but more often it’s “Guardsmen.”


Jason A. Adams

George Travis Anderson

Ralph Y. Cobb

Bob L. Cook

Ronald W. Coombs

John L. Franceschi

Stephen K. Garon

Woodrow W. Gilpin

Jesse C. Grady, Jr.

Wendel P. Graft

Henry M. Hargrave

Denzil R. Hollis

Juanita Davison Holmes

Michael Scott Jackson

David G. “Popsie” Keiffer, Sr.

Frank Kemmer

Emil L. Martin, Jr.

Edward Lee Mathews

Edward Allen McKenzie

William H. McMullen

Finnie “Moon” Mullins, Sr.

Lester E. Nall

Leon Jackson Parten

Emza W. Pate

Irene Pechal

Joe John Rek, Jr.

Milford E. Royder

Michael Jeffrey Starr

Lola Arnold Todd

Charles W. Wages

George E. Wagner

John Spencer Young

Learn more about the history of the United States Coast Guard, like current leadership, where they have boot camps and where they’ll be celebrating the USCG birthday this year, Coast Guard Academy training, and all about their mission and their areas of responsibility in keeping our country safe. We owe them all an eternal debt of gratitude. Semper Paratus, and thank you for your service.

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