TEAM COAST GUARD AND TEARS OF JOY

 

Have you ever seen a commander shed a tear?

 

Auxiliarist from Kuttawa Flotilla 8-11 caused CDR Christopher S. Myskowski and his enlisted team members to shed tears this past December when their secret Santa arrived with a truck full of stockings full of gifts.

 

 

Elinor Stacy; SO-SR Division 8 and Nick Shull as they deliver the stockings to MSU Paducah in 2007 

 

Photo by A Romero

 

 

At the head of this mission was Elinor Stacy; SO-SR for Division Eight Eastern she is a member of Flotilla 8-11.  Elinor hand made Christmas stockings for all of the children of the officers and enlisted personnel from MSU Paducah. This was the second year the Flotilla graciously gave from their hearts.

 

The story really began in the summer of 2006. 8-11 wanted to give back to the enlisted personnel that had taught its members so much while patrolling together on the waters of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Jim Suitor an Auxiliarist and marine owner brought up the idea of giving back to the Coast Guard, from this suggestion at a September meeting an idea grew. Knowing that the enlisted would appreciate some help at Christmas, Elinor suggested utilizing her talent as a seamstress.

 

For the next couple of months Auxiliarist worked hard getting things together, Elinor sewed and  Peggy Smith; FC contacted the then CAPT Denise Mathews with the news. Wish lists from the kids were sent to their secret Santa and the sewing and shopping began.  On a cold December afternoon in 2006 Elinor Stacy and her partner Nick Shull; also a member of 8-11, along with DCP Al Romero and his wife Marlene loaded the filled stockings and delivered them to MSU Paducah.

 

The four volunteers were met with tears and cheers from the grateful parents.

 

So this year when the holiday season was still far away Flotilla 8-11 decided to once again share with the children of the officers and enlisted at MSU Paducah. Elinor volunteers at the unit once a week for the M.O.M.ís patrols. This made it easier to share information. So when she contacted CDR Myskowski about the secret Santa program he was delighted. Having arrived in Paducah earlier this year with his seven children, he was very appreciative.

 

Not only did the new commander have more children the entire unitís number of children had increased substantially. This did not discourage the Flotilla members.  They just worked harder.

 

Division Eight Eastern has five Flotillasí in the area. It was decided to ask all of them for help with the lists this year.

 

Once again on a cold December day in 2007 Santa arrived at MSU Paducah with many stockings filled with every item on every list from every child of the officers and enlisted personnel. It was a busy day at the unit but still CDR Myskowski met them in the conference room to not only thank them for their work, but to shed a tear of gratitude.

 

During the 2008 Change of Watch for Division Eight Eastern CDR Myskowski recognized Elinor and Nick for all their hard work. He delivered hand written thank you notes from the kids that received the stockings.

 

 

Nick Shull, Elinor Stacy and CDR Christopher S. Myskowski

 

 

 

  Photo by Geri McKee; SO-PB Division 8                                                                                                  

                                                                                   

Division Eight is looking forward to the coming boating season as CDR Myskowski is committed to asking the Auxiliarist to volunteer more, provide more classes, patrol more, participate in Marine Safety Missions and partner with his men and women to keep the water ways safe.

 

And Santa will once again fill the wishes of the children at MSU Paducah in 2008.

 

Story by: Geri McKee; SO-PB Division 8, 8th Eastern Region