Making an impact in Northern Alaska

NOME, Alaska — After three days covering more than 6,600-miles, a distance greater than a round trip between Los Angeles and New York, Coast Guard, Army and Air National Guard personnel and volunteers have visited the three communities of Kivalina, Koyuk and Wales.

The outreach efforts to these communities have resulted in the medical doctor having treated more than 40 patients, including one lady who was recommended by Lt. Col. Dixon Christian, a U.S. Air Force doctor, for immediate medical evacuation and surgery.

Lt. Col. Huey Frye, an Air National Guard optometrist, saw more than 45 individuals, while the two veterinarians, Maj. Mike Lewis and Capt. Rhonda Ellison of the Air National Guard, treated more than 115 animals with rabies shots and other vaccinations.

“You could tell that the people really loved their pets,” said Ellison. “The people were very receptive to our efforts, and would love for us to return in the future.”

Operations have also proceeded forth on the North Slope with the veterinarian there having treated more than 20 animals in Barrow and Wainwright.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary has also reached out within the communities, helping promote water safety, with an emphasis on the “Kids Don’t Float” campaign. The “Kids Don’t Float” campaign promotes child safety while on the water by loaning life jackets for kids to use while at sea.

Operation Arctic Crossroads is a community outreach across northern Alaska, in an effort to integrate local knowledge with military expertise to meet the many challenges of Arctic operations. The operation is made up of members from the, Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, Army National Guard, Air National Guard and U.S. Public Health Services.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the voluntary arm of the Coast Guard. It is made up a men and women who freely give their time to help the Coast Guard educate the public about boating and water safety.

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