To our friends and family in Cape May County,
As Veterans Day quickly draws near, I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts and sentiments with you and offer my sincere gratitude to the Cape May community for the support you provide to members of our service, not just one day a year, but all year long, and also to personally thank all the veterans who have served this great nation.
Throughout our history, we have depended on our veterans to keep our country safe and free. They sacrificed time away from families, often were put in harm's way, and some made the ultimate sacrifice.
Nearly every week, new recruits arrive at the training center here in Cape May from all across the country, ready to serve. At graduation, I tell each of them that regardless of where they came from, whether that is from New Jersey, Florida, Ohio or Guam, they are graduating as a completely changed person. When they leave here, they have left behind their old self, and have been reborn a Coast Guardsman –and Cape May County is their new hometown.
I say this because I truly believe Cape May County is significant to the identity of our service and has a great impact on our culture. 80% of our workforce goes through initial training here, wear their uniform in public for the first time here, and receive their first comment from a stranger – “Thank you for your service!”
We know that in Cape May County we are always welcome. The Coast Guard has been here for more than 100 years and is forever tied to this community in service and in spirit. We honor our veterans because they risked their lives so we could live in this country of opportunity.
As we honor the women and men who chose to serve this Veterans Day, I take a great deal of pride in knowing that our Coast Guard veterans got their start right here in Cape May. Regardless of where a veteran’s journey began, their sacrifices and those of their families should be honored.
Many of you in the community are veterans, and on behalf of the training center’s staff, I want to thank you. Our recruits are following in your footsteps, and every day we strive to ensure they are ready to stand the watch, like those that came before them. I'm grateful to belong to a community that honors our veterans like Cape May does.
Thank you truly to all our veterans for your service. Lest we forget.
Capt. Kathy Felger
Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Training Center Cape May