Working on holidays sucks. There’s nothing else to say about it. I’m sure all of my colleagues here at NewsRep have stories about being on a deployment during Thanksgiving or Christmas, and even I remember working a shift in the emergency room on a holiday or two. So for this Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to find five stories — one for each branch of the military — that illustrate how our service members keep us perpetually safe, and why we should give thanks to them every day of the year.
Army — California Army National Guardsmen support efforts to fight wildfires
Just about everyone has read about the wildfires which have been devastating the state of California over the last several weeks. If you haven’t, you can read about it here. While civilian agencies such as Cal Fire and local law enforcement have been “on the frontlines” battling the blaze, National Guard units from across the country have been arriving in the state to support everything from search and rescue, fire suppression, supply delivery, evacuations, and even veterinary care. National Guard units refer to this type of mission as “all hazards” and train for them regularly.
Navy — Sailors use an inflatable boat to rescue survivors of plane crash
When a civilian aircraft slammed into the water while attempting to land at a small airport in Micronesia, several US Navy sailors who were working on a nearby pier leaped into action. According to the Times of India, the sailors used an “inflatable boat” and made several trips to the down aircraft, pulling survivors out and bringing them to the shore.
Air Force — Air Force Academy cadets scale mountain to rescue car crash victims
On Veterans Day this year, several cadets from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs left campus for a day of skiing in the Rockies. While the group was driving, the car in front of them spun out of control and drove off the side of a cliff. According to a report from local outlet KRDO, the officers-in-training pulled their vehicle over, called authorities, and descended the slope to check for survivors. Luckily everyone in the car survived, but the Air Force cadets placed themselves in extreme danger when they scaled the cliff to reach the vehicle.
Marine Corps — Marines stationed in Japan respond to Super Typhoon
US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) were some of the first to arrive on scene after Super Typhoon Yutu smashed into the Northern Mariana Islands in October. According to a report from the Department of Defense, the Marines teamed up with local officials and personnel from FEMA, and were tasked with water purification, utility repair, and debris clearance. It took the Marines a whole four days to complete the first of their assigned tasks, and they remained on the island for some time to continue to support recovery efforts.
Coast Guard — Coasties team up with environmental groups to save sea turtles
The Coast Guard goes out every single day and saves lives — it’s kind of in their name. However, the Coast Guard also does a lot of work to protect the marine environment and aquatic animals. Recently, Coast Guardsmen from the Cutter Heron transported several rehabilitated sea turtles to warm waters off the coast of Virginia. According to the Military Times, the men and women of the Cutter Heron teamed up with personnel from the “Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission” to return the turtles to their natural habitat in the safest way possible. Due to cold temperatures in New England, the Cutter was needed to transport the animals to the warmer water zone. This is not the first time the Coast Guard has aided marine wildlife. The Cutter Campbell saved a sea turtle off the coast of Maine earlier this year after it had become tangled in fishing line.