Happy Birthday Coast Guard!

Master Chief Art Sloan’s column below appeared in the Scottsdale Republic today:

Name evolved, but Coast Guard’s mission same

Nearly 223 years later and the mission has not changed.

Starting as a way to raise funds for the new nation called the United States, the Revenue Marine Ser­vice was founded by Alexander Hamilton on Aug. 4, 1790, to stop smugglers. The type of goods smuggled may have changed from more than 200 years ago, but the mission has not for the service now known as the U.S. Coast Guard. It went through many depart­ments as different agencies of the U.S. government.

This made it an armed maritime law-enforcement service. The service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Trea­sury. In 1915, the service merged with the United States Life Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. It has also been in the Department of Transportation and is now a branch of Homeland Security. During wartime, it operates under the U.S. Navy. Sunday is this service’s birthday and a party will be in Tucson. There are more than 300 Coast Guard veterans living in Arizona and many will be attending.

This and that

» The new director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services is Ted Vogt from Tucson. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served as an intelligence officer and commanded a unit that was responsible for providing counterterrorism and threat informa­tion. He served in Afghanistan and the Middle East as part of Iraqi Freedom.

He has served in many other capacities and as a civilian served in the Arizona House of Representatives.

» Two restaurants are now giving discounts to veterans. Which Wich will give a 10 percent discount. It has a sandwich shop in Chandler and will open another in Gilbert. Uncle Bears Grill and Bar in Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek and Surprise offers a 15 percent discount. Always ask for a discount since most restaurants and businesses will give you one with a veteran ID.

» Service Corp of Retired Exec­utives wants to help veterans who are in business or want to start a business.

SCORE will offer free attendance for 100 veterans, under a Bank of America grant, at its symposium 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aug. 15 at Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Road. Goo­gle, GoDaddy, Leap Innovation and Infusionsoft are among businesses planning to participate. Information: scorephoenixsymposium.org. To get the code for free admission, contact Scott Schreiber at scott.schreiber@s4inc.net or 480-677-8971.

» The Merritt Center in Payson still has room in its seven-day program for veterans, who have PTSD and need non-traditional therapy, in a beautiful setting at no cost to the veteran Aug. 21-28. The program is educational and teaches techniques a vet can use to manage PTSD and create a new life mission. The program, meals and lodg­ing are free to any returning combat vet from any war. Information: 928-474-4268.

» A Health and Knowledge Fair for women veterans will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 with lunch provided at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, 650 E. Indian School Road. Although there is no child care available, young­sters may come with their mothers.

Registration: azdvs.gov or call Nicole LaPella, 602-677-6751.

» Operation Marshmallow, an or­ganization that sends packages to troops overseas, will be having an event from 2 to 10 p.m. Aug. 17, with free food and music. They will be col­lecting donations for their shipping costs and to help homeless veterans.

The event is at the Black Canyon VFW, 34801 S. Velda Rose in Black Canyon City off Interstate 17. Use the 242 exit.

Information: Julie Stephens, 623-329-3568.

» There are about 8.9 million veter­ans enrolled in the VA Health Care System. However, there are 22.4 million veterans eligible for these benefits. You should enroll even if you don’t think you need them now.

Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Art Sloane, Coast Guard, can be reached at 480-802-6810 or artgbeard@aol.com.

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