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Coast Guard families told they can have garage sales to support themselves and their families.

I read that headline in the news yesterday and couldn't believe it. I have been a fisherman for years and worked in the marine insurance industry. All mariners, fishermen, sportsmen, and professional seamen go to sea knowing that freak accidents and disasters can happen at any time. We go with the knowledge that highly trained Coast Guard men and women are standing watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ready to respond to any hazardous situation that occurs.

I watched Coos Bay Coast Guard air crews air lift 19 crewmen off the freighter "Blue Magpie" stranded on the end of the north jetty at Newport in 70 knot cross winds while taking salt spay in their engines. The Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria has multiple videos of motor life boat rescues off Peacock and Clatsop spits at the mouth of the Columbia river. The Coast Guard rescues from the Kodiak air station and in the Bering Sea are legendary.

These young men and women are highly trained professionals that risk their lives every day to save American lives and property. They deserve better than an American government that tells them we can't pay you but you have to stay on the job. Telling the families that they can have garage sales, get baby sitting jobs, or dog walking jobs is an embarrassment to me as an American and our nation as a whole.

Our President and Republican and Democratic Congressmen were elected to lead the nation. Lead. Stop the game playing. Show the professional leadership and courage that the young men and women of the Coast Guard exhibit every day.

Mike Becker

Newport

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