Letter to the Editor from commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May News
South Jersey Community,

Thank you for your continued support of the U.S. Coast Guard’s recruit regiment this holiday season. Dozens of families and organizations will open their homes to approximately 190 of our nation’s most junior military members. This commitment to our service will not be forgotten by the staff here, and it will especially not be forgotten by the recruits who are being hosted.

The people of South Jersey have lined up to host a recruit for the holidays, and we regularly receive more volunteers than we have recruits. This willingness to support our Coast Guard men and women is an example of South Jersey’s commitment to both our service members and our nation. It is my hope that this year’s Operation Fireside families will continue to volunteer for years to come, and I hope we continue to receive new volunteers who can experience the reward of helping a service member during the holidays.

We are indebted to the staff of the Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross who began coordinating the community’s involvement in Operation Fireside in 1981. Since then, thousands of Coast Guard recruits have had a home for the holidays thanks to the partnership between the Red Cross and the community of South Jersey. We are always thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and commitment to our nation’s service members that the Red Cross demonstrates, not only at this time of year, but year round.

The Coast Guard is truly a global force with service members conducting dangerous frontline missions in some of the world’s most austere environments. Whether conducting counter-drug operations off the coast of South America, ice-breaking missions in the Arctic or other critical missions, the Coast Guard men and women who graduate here will all have one thing in common – they’ll remember the love and support demonstrated by the community of South Jersey.

Thank you again for your generosity and compassion; and thank you for helping us make their first steps, the right steps. Semper Paratus.

Best of Tides,

G. T. Prestidge
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Commanding Officer

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