Summer is the best time to get in your boat and enjoy the warm weather and all the beautiful bodies of water America has to offer. Taking the safety of these waters for granted is an easy mistake because of the practically unnoticed duties performed by the Coast Guard. June 23, 2017 is the 78th birthday of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts many duties such as: recreational boat inspections, teaching boating courses and assisting in search and rescue missions. You might not know much about these Auxiliarists, so read some of the history behind them today to celebrate their 78th birthday.
Birth Of The Coast Guard Auxiliary
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary was originally authorized by Congress on June 23, 1939 under the name, Coast Guard Reserve. With this authorization, the Congress mandated the Coast Guard to utilize civilians on a volunteer basis to make the high seas and the nation’s waters safe. Their service would soon change dramatically in the events that took place in the following years.
World War II
On Feb. 19, 1941, Congress added the Coast Guard Reserve as a branch of the military, and the former Coast Guard Reserve made up of volunteers became the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Soon after, during World War II, Lt. Cmdr. Frank D. Higbee ordered the Auxiliary to, “Come back with your shield, or on it!” In response, 50,000 members of the Auxiliary joined the war effort by guarding waterfronts, patrolling the coasts, rescuing survivors and carrying out any other task they were asked to do. During these times, the Auxiliary’s four pillars: Vessel Examination, Education, Operations and Fellowship were established.
The four pillars of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are still their foundation today. Since 1996, the Auxiliary’s role has expanded to assist the Coast Guard in any mission besides law and military operations. All 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa hold members of the Auxiliary. Citizens 17 and older are authorized to join in the U.S. and its territories.
In 2015, with the help of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Coast guard had over twice the amount of responses for each of their over 16,000 search and rescue cases. In the same year, the Auxiliary was an integral part in saving over 3,500 lives.
Donate Your Boat To Help Veterans
Like the Coast Guard Auxiliary, veterans of the U.S. military commit brave acts to defend the country, leaving some of them in need of assistance in the process. To help give back, you can donate your unwanted boat, or any other vehicle, to Vehicles For Veterans. This nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization benefits disabled and other veterans organizations. Donating your unwanted boat is a great way to celebrate the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s birthday as it benefits veterans who help keep the waters safe and anyone who wants to get rid of their unwanted boat without the hassle. When you donate, you receive a great tax deduction and free towing. Donate your car for the Auxiliary’s 78th birthday by calling 1-855-811-4838 or filling out an online car donation form.