In honor of the 222nd birthday of the Coast Guard on August 4 and the upcoming anniversary of the War of 1812, CDR Gary M. Thomas, USCG, spoke to residents at Greenspring about the history of the service.
Thomas is executive director of The Foundation for Coast Guard History, located in Falls Church, Va. “The foundation is dedicated to preserving Coast Guard history and educating the public about it,” said Thomas. He visited Greenspring as a guest of the Naval History & Heritage Group.
The Coast Guard is the oldest continuous sea service in America. The service has three main roles or missions, including maritime safety, security, and stewardship, encompassing 11 different responsibilities, according to Thomas. For instance, after the Titanic sank in 1912, the Coast Guard was sent to look for other icebergs that might pose a threat to ships, Thomas said.
Thomas said that the name “Coast Guard” did not come about until 1915, when an act of Congress merged the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Three additional services were united to form the Coast Guard, including the U.S. Steamboat Inspection Service, the U.S. Lighthouse Board, and the U.S. Bureau of Marine Navigation. The Coast Guard as we know it today wasn’t formed until after World War II.
Thomas is available for community outreach events. Contact him at 757-375-1816 or email GMThomas@aol.com.
About Greenspring: Greenspring is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in the 1405 independent living units. At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.