Digest>Archives> January 2002

Coast Guard’s Mission Needs Funds

By Timothy Harrison


Every subscriber to Lighthouse Digest should be aware of the Coast Guard’s role in America’s lighthouse history.

When we think of lighthouses, however, many times we forget about all the other aids to navigation that the Coast Guard must maintain. We also often forget about all the other duties that the Coast Guard takes on such as law enforcement, environmental protection, fishery patrols, safety programs and search and rescue.

Over the years, the Coast Guard’s regular duties and new tasks assigned to it on a regular basis have stretched the Coast Guard’s budget to a point that sometimes has forced the curtailing of certain activities because of a lack of funds. The Coast Guard has always been assigned the role of protection of our waterways, but now that role is even more vital and important as our nation enters its battle against unknown terrorist elements from around the world.

For years it has always been known that the United States Coast Guard has always “Done more with less,” but it’s now time for the Congress of the United States to put an end to that way of thinking.

Congress needs to recognize that the United States Coast Guard, as it did during World War II, is the only right government military branch to defend our shores from terrorism. While it is true that we have a great Navy, it must be the Navy’s responsibility to defend and protect our interest and world peace throughout the world and the Coast Guard’s to protect our actual country from threats against our ports, waterways and shores.

Our economy depends on the rapid flow of goods through our ports. If the Coast Guard is to protect these vulnerable economic targets it will require more manpower and technology and this means more funding from Congress. But while the Coast Guard needs to protect us against terrorism, we must not allow the Coast Guard’s other responsibilities to be impaired. Again, this can only be accomplished by additional Congressional funding.

The readers of Lighthouse Digest can help. We urge you now, today, right this minute, to stop what you are doing and send a letter to your states federal Congressmen and Senators in Washington and urge them to increase the amount of funding to the Coast Guard. Tell them you want whatever it takes to assure us that the Coast Guard will have not only the necessary money to defend our coastline but to make sure other Coast Guard responsibilities are not curtailed or cut back.

Your Senators and Congressmen do read their mail. Your opinion does matter to them. But you must act and send that letter or email today. Only you can help make a difference.

It’s up to every American citizen to take an active role to help the Coast Guard defend the American Way of Life.

This story appeared in the January 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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