A partnership that was forged in the wake of Superstorm Sandy became even stronger on Feb. 13, when members of Marine 9 on Staten Island received a special honor from the U.S. Coast Guard – the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award.
“It’s a privilege for me to stand beside these brothers in arms who helped us recover after Sandy,” Capt. Gordon Loebl of the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Members of Marine 9 opened the doors of their firehouse to the U.S. Coast Guard immediately after learning that their Staten Island base was badly damaged in the storm. Coast Guard vessels and crew worked out of the unit for approximately three months.
“We nominated them for their extraordinary support — we didn’t ask for help, they just gave us help,” said Lt. Commander James McLay. “This recognizes their significant contribution to the Coast Guard’s mission and readiness. It’s a best case of local and federal agencies working together in a crisis.”
This is one of the highest honors the Coast Guard can bestow to another agency or civilian.
“This is such an honor for us,” Capt. Chris Kelleher from Marine 9. “It gives a whole new meaning to port partners. It was our pleasure to have them here.”