Coast Guard Cutter Alert recognized for community service

SEATTLE — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alert, based in Astoria, Ore., received two prestigious awards for dedication to the local community Oct. 28.

Representing the crew of the Alert, Cmdr. Matthew Creelman was presented with the Spirit of Hope Award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Spirit of Hope Award is presented to men and women of the armed forces whose patriotism and service reflect that of Bob Hope and who have contributed outstanding service to the United States of America.

The Alert was chosen as the Coast Guard award recipient because of the crew’s spirit of service and compassion for the local community of Clatsop County. Specifically, the crew was recognized for running an annual haunted ship event to collect canned goods for the food bank and for volunteering thousands of man hours in response to the 2007 December storm.

“We are truly honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award,” Creelman said.

The crew’s efforts in the community were recognized again Nov. 3 when Rear Adm. John Currier, Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, presented the crew with the Coast Guard Unit Commendation.

The Coast Guard Unit Commendation is the highest peacetime award bestowed upon Coast Guard commands. The unit must support Coast Guard operations and be involved in extremely meritorious service not involving combat.

The crew received the award for the unit’s response to and recovery from the devastation caused by the storm of 2007 in Clatsop County.

“Astoria is our home and everyone here is our neighbor. On Alert, we do all we can for the community because when we are away at sea, we know our families are safe with our neighbors,” Creelman said.

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