Best Coast Guard Retirement Gifts to Honor Our Heroes

Best Coast Guard Retirement Gifts to Honor Our Heroes

We all love birthdays – especially when they give us the chance to celebrate the people we value deeply. On February 19, let’s all celebrate the bold, boundless, and brave U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Unit (CGRU) on its 80th birthday. 

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) was initially founded in 1790 after President George Washington signed the Tariff Act as a means to “protect the new nation’s revenue,” according to the USCG historian’s website. The Coast Guard would later become one of the most vital military groups in the U.S., but it wasn’t until 1939 that the Coast Guard Reserve was created.

In honor of America’s finest CGRU servicemen and servicewomen, we’re taking a stroll down the Coast Guard Reserve’s memory lane, recounting some of its most unforgettable moments, and sharing the best Coast Guard retirement gifts to give the CGRU service members in your life.

Remembering the Past

The Coast Guard Reserve, which later became what we know today as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, was established following the creation of the Coast Guard Reserve Act in 1939. Originally, the Reserve was not a branch of the U.S. military but rather an organization made up of volunteer civilian boat owners whose duty was to promote water safety.

On February 19, 1941, the act of 1939 was amended to reflect two sectors of the Coast Guard: the Auxiliary and the Reserve. Civilian boat owners and volunteers remained part of the Auxiliary sector, whereas the Reserve sector became a military branch of active-duty service members

Both the Auxiliary and Reserve battled alongside other military branches in World War 1 and World War 2, Vietnam, and other colossal events in U.S. history, providing, according to The National Academies Press, aid and safety to marine life. In 1994, the USCG established a training program called Sea Partners to protect ocean environments, which it still extensively participates in today.

Major Coast Guard Moments

D-Day Coast Guard Heroes

Many European countries were liberated on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day. In addition to the U.S. Army and the Navy, the USCG played a vital role in D-Day’s incredible moment in history. In fact, the USCG even brought their own boats to invade Normandy’s beaches on that fateful day helping to take down Germany. 

Among the tens of thousands of servicemen who participated in D-Day were those of the Coast Guard who manned assault transports like the USS Bayfield, which “served as the nerve center for the entire Utah assault,” and sailed along the five beaches acting as search and rescue.

Recovering From Hurricane Katrina

The National Coast Guard plays a special role in providing aid, comfort, and knowledge during natural disasters — particularly hurricanes. 

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the USCG played a crucial role in planning, response, and recovery efforts in several affected areas. Service members fulfilled rescue missions and created actionable steps for future natural disaster emergencies. Their efforts saved hundreds of lives, and they never gave up on survivors in need.

Unique Coast Guard Retirement Gifts

Our CGRU servicemen and women have sacrificed so much for us over the past 80 years. Here are some meaningful Coast Guard retirement gifts to show your appreciation for the service member (or members) in your life:

  • Bare Paddles: Our Coast Guard paddles are completely customizable. First, choose between hardwood (oak and walnut, cherry and aspen, solid walnut, specialty stripe, and cherry and oak) and more cost effective softwood (Mississippi Pine and gum wood). Then choose from a variety of sizes and colors to truly personalize your Coast Guard retirement gift.
  • Create-Your-Own Paddle: Our more creative customers may prefer to create their own paddles. Like our bare paddles, you choose the size, finish, style, and wood type. Unlike our bare paddles, you’ll also choose the paddle accent colors, wrapping style, and additional touches like images, knots, and engraved text. Our create-your-own paddle is our most popular product due to its extensive customization options.
  • Paddle Stand: A paddle stand is the cherry on top of a custom paddle purchase. Rather than hanging the paddle up on the wall, get the service member in your life an upright stand to perfectly showcase the paddle for all his or her guests to see up close.

The above Coast Guard retirement gift ideas are just a drop in the bucket, and remember that the best gift is showing your respect and appreciation for those who serve (or have served) our country. It may not be a national holiday, but February 19 holds deep value for CGRU members and their loved ones.

Head to our online shop to explore our custom memorabilia and other incredible Coast Guard retirement gifts!

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