Returning to the station they once called home

Members from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River gather with members from the station’s commissioning crew outside of the station during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.<br />

Members from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River gather with members from the station’s commissioning crew outside of the station during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.
The commissioning members were the first Coast Guard crew to inhabit the current station building back in 1971.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River.

U.S. Coast Guard story courtesy of Station Siuslaw River

Just a few days after the Coast Guard’s birthday the commissioning crew of, what we know today as Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, returned to their old station, on Aug. 9, 2015, to spend time with the current crew.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Bromund (center) and Petty Officer 2nd Class David Contreras from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River ready to take members from the station’s commissioning crew for a ride on a 47-foot Motor Life Boat during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.   When the commissioning crew was stationed there in 1971, they used the 44-foot Motor Life Boat and the 36-foot Motor Life Boat.   U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Bromund (center) and Petty Officer 2nd Class David Contreras from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River ready to take members from the station’s commissioning crew for a ride on a 47-foot Motor Life Boat during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.
When the commissioning crew was stationed there in 1971, they used the 44-foot Motor Life Boat and the 36-foot Motor Life Boat.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River.

The commissioning crew was full of joy, laughter, sea stories and camaraderie. The motto of the day was “You have it easy now, because back in the day….” followed by an amazing story of how the Coast Guard used to conduct business.

The current station crew had the pleasure of listening to the hardships and challenges faced by the men and women that stood the watch decades ago. Many conversations were about Homer, the station dog in 1970 and the same dog that lies buried on the grounds with a shined brass monument still standing today.

The duty crews past and present ate pizza together, toured the station they have all called home and even got a feel for the salt air on the Siuslaw River bar.

“We really valued our time with the reunion crew,” said Chief Petty Officer Ben Snider. “It was great to watch the connection between past and present. We’re both so invested into this lifeboat station; it’s helped to mold us all.”

Members from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River take members from the station’s commissioning crew for a ride on a 47-foot Motor Life Boat during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.   The reunion ran through the weekend and, in addition to a tour of the station, included a Heceta Head Lighthouse tour, a slot tournament, a reunion banquet and a Florence Military Museum tour.   U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River.

Members from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River take members from the station’s commissioning crew for a ride on a 47-foot Motor Life Boat during a reunion in Florence, Ore., Aug. 9, 2015.
The reunion ran through the weekend and, in addition to a tour of the station, included a Heceta Head Lighthouse tour, a slot tournament, a reunion banquet and a Florence Military Museum tour.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River.

Bruce Fitzgerald, part of the commissioning crew and also retired postmaster, presented Chief Petty Officer Ben Snider, executive petty officer of Station Siuslaw River, and the crew with a framed plaque containing the postal stamp commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the Coast Guard, as well the national postmark for Aug. 4, 2015, the birthday of the Coast Guard.

“We love to hear the sea stories from the past, and they enjoy seeing how things have changed and advanced in today’s service,” said Snider. “Of all the things that may have changed, one thing remains the same, we still have good people standing the watch and ready to answer the call.”

A special thanks goes to Dennis Neblich for coordinating the first crew reunion.

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