NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Coast Guard Auxiliarist Ed Petrie knows a thing or two about Devotion to Duty. Petrie was presented the Coast Guard Auxiliary Sustained Service Award for spending more than 25,000 hours of volunteer, and he is still going strong.
Petrie began his service to the Coast Guard as an active duty member in 1958. He served at Coast Guard Station Saint George, N.Y., Hereford Inlet Lifeboat Station, North Wildwood, N.J., and aboard the Five Fathom Lightship off Cape May, N.J. before leaving active duty as a Boatswain’s Mate Third Class in 1962.
Following a fulfilling career servicing boilers, and having been actively involved in Little League with his children, Petrie was anxious to find new ways to volunteer and serve his community. In a chance meeting at the Norwalk Boat Show in the early 1990’s, he ran into a friend who was then serving in a leadership role with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. His friend encouraged him to look into the Auxiliary, and he officially joined in 1994.
Since 1994, Petrie has been active in the Auxiliary, serving the 1st Auxiliary District-South in the roles of Vice Flotilla Commander, Flotilla Commander, Division Communications Officer, Division Vice Commander, Division Commander, Rear Commodore Sector Long Island Sound-North, and currently as Sector Long Island Sound Auxiliary Coordinator.
He has amassed more than 25,000 hours of service by consistently volunteering two days a week, dividing his time between Sector Long Island Sound in New Haven, Conn., where he coordinates all Auxiliary support within the Sector, and the Director of Auxiliary Office in New York where he oversees the mail distribution and communications between the 17 divisions and 106 flotillas in the region. Additionally, Petrie serves as an assistant lighthouse keeper at Boston Lighthouse for one month each year, where he services the grounds and maintains the facility.
When asked what has kept him motivated to serve over the course of the last 18 years, Petrie said “I really enjoy the missions of the Coast Guard and working alongside the active, reserve, and auxiliary men and women. The camaraderie that comes with working hard as a team toward a common goal is second to none.”
By his actions and dedication, Petrie exemplifies the spirit of “Team Coast Guard”.
Coast Guard Auxiliarist Ed Petrie, right, reviews a chart of the south shore of Long Island with Chief Petty Officer John Jackson, Nov. 14, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Curtis Taft.