Coast Guardsman gets holiday call from Commander in Chief

CAMP AFIFJAN, Kuwait – Members of the U.S. Coast Guard serving in the Arabian Gulf region received a call from the President yesterday and had an opportunity to share holiday greetings as well as talk briefly with the commander in chief about the Coast Guard’s unique missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It was definitely an honor and a cool experience,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Dustin Monroe, a Missoula, Montana native, who is half-way through a year-long deployment to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan as a hazardous materials inspector. “He asked me how things were going so far and wished us a happy holiday season. It was fun and I’m glad I was able to share the experience with my Coast Guard and Army teammates.”

Monroe is a HAZMAT inspector assigned to the Coast Guard’s Redeployment Inspection-Assistance Detachment embedded with Army units in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. His primary duties involve the inspection and clearance of Army equipment and personnel to ensure they can safely return to the United States. He has spent the past six months at forward locations throughout Iraq. He was one of just two Coast Guardsmen to receive phone calls from the Commander in Chief. The second is stationed on a patrol boat in the Arabian Gulf.

The RAID team is one of a handful of units assigned to Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, a 300-member unit based in Bahrain that supports missions throughout the Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn theaters.

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