Real "Coming Home" Stories: A Coast Guard Homecoming
-- Homecoming story by Mandy Baker
Standing on the pier in the crisp, cool Alaskan air you could feel the excitement moving through the families gathered there. We could barely hear our own hearts pounding over the nervous chatter. We had each carefully picked out our outfits and taken extra care as we got ready that morning. Finally, someone caught the first glimpse of the cutter coming around the bend. “Here they come!” They shouted to the crowd.
As it slowly came closer, our excitement grew. After what seemed like an eternity a small cheer rippled through the families as there was a gentle bump of the cutter against the side of the pier. This began a bevy of activity both on board the cutter and off.
Finally, the cutter was fully moored, the gang way put out, and we were invited aboard. The flight deck became a big ball of energy as we all anxiously searched for our loved one. Once we found them, all the emotions that had been coursing through our bodies all morning came bubbling to the surface. Nothing compares to the feeling of being back in your spouse’s arms after a long separation. There is no describing that first kiss after having lived so long without it.
As the energy settled to a satisfied calm most of the crew gathered their belongings and headed home with their families. But, for those of us with loved ones in the engineering department, this marked the time for us to head down to the galley to wait. The engineers' work does not end when the cutter moors up. They must run tests, and clean the engine rooms, and the like. Then it is finally our turn to head for home. After the last family has left, the boat fell silent; the excitement of the day faded into bay. After months of patrolling the Bearing Sea and even farther south in the Pacific Ocean, the CGG Alex Haley had made it home to Kodiak, Alaska.
"Coming Home" Season 2 airs Sundays in March at 10 pm/9c on Lifetime.
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