Coast Guard Recruits visit Arlington National Cemetery

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May NewsCAPE MAY, N.J. – Recruits from Coast Guard Training Center Cape May visited Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Saturday as part of Flags Across America.

Recruit Companies S-185 and T-185 used their one off-base liberty day to honor the men and women who went before them by placing National Ensigns and Coast Guard Flags at the grave sites of Coast Guardsmen buried at Arlington.

The men and women of S-185 and T-185 boarded buses at Training Center Cape May and drove four hours to Arlington where they met by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr.; the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Master Chief Petty Officer Michael P. Leavitt; and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force, Master Chief Petty Officer Mark H. Allen.

They spent much of the morning visiting various Coast Guard memorials at Arlington National Cemetery. Their first stop was to the Coast Guard Memorial, which is a pyramid that pays tribute to Coast Guardsmen in World War I. Two specific ships are commemorated on the memorial including the loss of the crew of the Cutter Tampa, which was struck by an enemy submarine in Bristol Channel in 1918, and the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, which lost 11 Coast Guardsmen trying to salvage the British Steamer Wellington in the Bay of Biscay. They also visited the USS Serpens Memorial, which honors the 250 lives lost, including 193 Coast Guardsmen, after the Serpens exploded off the coast of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.

After the recruits visited the monuments, they fanned out across the cemetery to place flags at the grave sites of those Coast Guardsmen who have crossed the bar. This was a fitting way for S-185 and T-185 to spend their off-base liberty because the two recruit companies will be among a handful of recruits to have graduated on Veteran’s Day.

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