Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes
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Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Since its founding more than two hundred years ago, the United States Coast Guard has rescued over a million people. On any given day, “Coasties” respond to 125 distress calls and save over a dozen lives. Yet despite having more than 50,000 active-duty and reserve members on every ocean and on our nation’s coasts, great lakes, and rivers, most of us know very little about...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Darlene
I really enjoyed this book whose title says it all. The US Coast Guard is a service that dates back to the founding of our nation. It's always been a mix of fighting force, life saving, research, police work, education, but sadly it's so often overlooked or shuffled from department to department. Now the USCG is under Homeland Security, and only time will tell if the service once sneered at as "The Treasury's pet navy" is in its best placement.

The only reason I didn't give the book a five star r...more
Sean
Still enjoying the book, but I could do without the author's editorializing and opinions.
Matt
I thoroughly enjoyed Rescue Warriors. As an active Coast Guard Auxillarist I am familiar with many of the missions Mr. Helvarg describes and thought he gave a very good description of the service. However there was too many times being a Historian jumped in my way, his bias was overpowering and switching between first and third person was so notable that it detracted from the book. The sense he respects the Coast Guard is obvious and the fact that he doesn't shy from the negative aspects makes t...more
Phil
An excellent look into the daily lives of "Coasties" and a healthy mix of admiration and scepticism for the service. Too many folks think of the Coast Guard as the rescue swimmers who jump out of perfectly good helecopters to rescue stupid amateur sailors, but especially after 9/11, their mission has changed so much, expanding into serious homeland security. Still though, their mission is to serve, without the extreme displays of testosterone found in other branches of the military.

Lots of good...more
Patrick
I really enjoyed reading Rescue Warriors. Much like Robert D. Kaplan's Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts for the Coast Guard. David Helvarg does a great job of giving you a taste of Coastie life ranging from Kodiak, Alaska to the Middle East. The men and women are well drawn portraits from all across the nation.

Each chapter is pretty much self contained and covers a certain aspect of the Coast Guard. I especially enjoyed the chapter on aviation and the cutters as I know several people in both occupa...more
Jaime
The Coast Guard is the Cinderella of the armed services, overlooked, overextended, under-funded, unsung. It's refreshing to read a book detailing the Coast Guard's vast and numerous sectors of responsibility along with its ability to do so much with so few resources. The author is careful to balance his accounts of daring heroism and dashing initiative (the Coast Guard is quite unlike the other services in terms of individual autonomy) with a bare-eyed look at its history and the many problems w...more
Tracy
This is a great book for anyone with a CG connection, anyone interested in maritime/emergency response/environmental issues/policy/politics. The chapters at the end were excellent in their depth of discussion about the politics of a brave but stretched-thin service. I have a family member who left the CG about a year after Sept 11 and was recalled briefly after that. It is a shame, but was entirely predictable, the way the environmental missions were neglected after 2001. I am very proud of the...more
Mckinley Sprinkle
Great writing. Well written.
Lee
Very well-written, by an author who seems to understand the ocean environment. He opens with a chapter on the Coast Guard's most visible recent moment, after Hurricane Katrina, and then goes all around the country with the "Coasties."

He explores history, current operations in many different chapters, and then goes into the unfortunate procurement fiasco of Deepwater.

An all-around picture of one of the best-functioning government services around.
Stephen
I have to give this one a solid 5 stars. It pulls together a great overview of the Coast Guard service. It spends as much time duscussing the history of the Coast guard as it does the modern roles of the service. It also gives good description of the AST (rescue swimmers) as well as the great service given to us by the Buoy Tenders. The Coast Guard truly are our Forgotten Heroes.
Timand Wallace
This should be required reading for all Coast Guardsman. I highly recommend this to all regardless of the fact that the author is a hippie, tree-hugging, left-winged, NORCAL green type (he is happy about us not being a environmental pollution first responder and make that abundantly clear). Nonetheless, a great book that should be in every unit's library!
Dave Hoff
Well, it's not the USCG I served in, but I guess the Revenue Cutter guys said the same about us.Still reading it. With interruptions, finished it. Added to enemies and missions we had more is added. Terrorists, drug smugglers now ramming CG small boats, fire power is some different, much better personal clothing.
Shannon Hudson
The author is a "Greenie" and his agenda is obvious. While I appreciate the book highlighting the job that two of my own personal heroes (Husband and Daughter)do. I could have done without the authors slant on the environment and what seemed to me like his contempt for the other services.
Mary Nelson
I heard the author discussing his book on a talk show. The history of the Coast Guard....I'm visiting the east coast and it makes me want to go to New London to see the academy, etc. But it's a bit dry, like a lesson book.
Matthew Robus
Author got to ride along on a lot of missions, and seemed starstruck--not sure this was in any way objective about the USCG. I enjoyed learning more about the service I was at one time involved with.
Murray
Gives the good and the bad and the really ugly of the Coast Guard history. Easy to read, but he barely mentions LORAN (and he spells it with little letters).
Samantha
Loved this book. I learned so much and admire the Coast Guard even more. Should I have the opportunity to support them, I will!
David Horney
one of those books that make you think, "ya know, if i had it to do over again...."
Paula
I got bored with it. It became redundant, so I gave it up.
Lizzie
A refreshing look at some unsung heroes.
Toesnorth's mom
didn't read all, scanned good parts
Jason
All the info I was looking for.
Matthew Greiner
Matthew Greiner marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Heidi
Heidi marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2014
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Jenna Dim marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
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Jun 22, 2014
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Norm Minekime marked it as to-read
May 26, 2014
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