Scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at the in , the Annual Salute will honor a select group of Coast Guard members with the Coast Guard Foundation Awards for Heroism. The gala will be emceed by Robert J. Flynn, a director of the Coast Guard Foundation and president of Mallory Jones Lynch Flynn & Assoc. Inc., and feature ceremonial music by the United States Coast Guard Band. Speakers will include Commandant Thad Allen who will also present awards, and Atlantic Area Commander, Vice Admiral Robert J. Papp, who will present colors.
In addition to celebrating exemplary service, the event will raise funds to support the Foundation’s important projects and programs including the Evergreen Fund college scholarship for children, as well as grants for enlistees that improve the lives and performance of Coast Guard members, their families and United States Coast Guard Academy cadets.
The Coast Guard Foundation Awards for Heroism will honor the heroic efforts demonstrated during the March 23, 2008 Alaska Ranger fishing vessel rescue by LT James K. Terrell, AMT2 Alfred L. Musgrave, MK2 Barry D. Lawson, AST2 Obrien Hollow, AMT2 Robert R. DeBolt and AST3 Abram A. Heller.
In the early morning hours of March 23, 2008, the Alaska Ranger, a 192-foot trawler with 47 persons on board, sank in the frigid Bering Sea 120 miles west of . Battling gale force 30-knot winds; rough 12-foot swells, near freezing seas and exposure, the honorees demonstrated incredible strength of character and resolve to successfully rescue eight mariners adrift in the sea without the benefit of lifeboats.
In recognition of successful search and rescue cases (responding to 18 SAR cases and saving 11 lives) conducted during the extremely arduous 2007-2008 ice season, CG Station River, represented by BM2 Anthony J. Vavrek and SN Matthew J. Bell, will also be presented with awards.