The 21st Annual Tribute to the Coast Guard's 8th District on Friday, March 14 was a fantastic night in honor of those who wear the Coast Guard uniform, and the people who support them.
"We feel it is important to recognize the tremendous sacrifices made by the spouses and the foundation of support each provides to our Coast Guard members," said Boysie Bollinger, Coast Guard Foundation trustee emeritus and long-time co-host of our New Orleans dinner.
"As long as there have been men and women willing to put on a uniform in service to our country, there have been extraordinary spouses at their side—patriots in their own right—who serve and sacrifice in ways many cannot fathom."
Check out this photo slide show of the evening.
Part of the night's tribute included a moment to acknowledge Sean O'Keefe, CEO of Airbus, formerly EADS North America, for his support of the men and women of the Coast Guard, and his service to our country. O'Keefe dedicated the award to his friend, the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who along with 4 others, died in a plane crash in 2010 in a remote Alaska outpost. Sean O'Keefe, his son and two others survived the crash and were rescued by the Coast Guard.
"I'm here today because of the Coast Guard," O'Keefe said. "You saved my life."
The centerpiece of the evening was seven "super spouses" from throughout the 8th district, which reaches from the Gulf of Mexico through America's heartland, who are shining examples of the commitment and dedication to their families and their work to support their Coast Guard communities. Mrs. Linda Papp, Coast Guard Ombudsman at Large, shared remarks and shared her thanks and appreciation for Coast Guard spouses. Admiral Robert Papp introduced Mrs. Papp with an endearing tribute to her support of his Coast Guard career over the years, and her selfless support of their family and the work she's done in the last four years to support Coast Guard families.
In attendance at the event, and recognized for their recent accomplishments: Eighth District Enlisted Person of the Year, AET1 Travis Cutler from Air Station Houston and the Eighth District Reserve Enlisted Person of the Year, MES1 Michael Bruno from Port Security Unit 308.