Veterans Day 2015: CWO (Ret.) Darrel Howells II

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II inspects a vessel while serving at Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan, Alaska.  Howells served as an engineer after attended Damage Control “A” School on Governor’s Island, New York.   Photo provided by CWO Darrel Howells II.

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II inspects a vessel while serving at Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan, Alaska. Howells served as an engineer after attended Damage Control “A” School on Governor’s Island, New York. Photo provided by CWO Darrel Howells II.

Every year on November 11, Americans honor and thank their military veterans. Veterans Day celebrates those who committed to protecting and serving their country.

Darrel Howells II made that commitment when he joined the Coast Guard in March of 1983 in Boise, Idaho.

“I saw a flyer with a picture of a Coast Guard boat crashing through the surf,” said Howells. “I thought ‘that looks like a blast!’ and I decided to join.”

After completing boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey, Howells reported to Station St. Joseph, Michigan. He served as an engineer at the station for over a year and then attended Damage Control “A” School on Governor’s Island, New York.

During his 30 years in the Coast Guard, Howells’ career took him many places, including Missouri, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Guantanamo Bay, Alaska and Alabama.

As a damage controlman and a warrant officer, Howells daily jobs varied from manufacturing navigational aids and solar panels to conducting vessel inspections. He also had the opportunity to conduct vessel identification and waterway surveys in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II proudly wears his Coast Guard Service Dress Bravos uniform.  Howells retired from the Coast Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, where he now spends his time working with veterans.Photo provided by CWO Darrel Howells II.

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II proudly wears his Coast Guard Service Dress Bravos uniform. Howells retired from the Coast Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, where he now spends his time working with veterans.Photo provided by CWO Darrel Howells II.

Howells retired from the Coast Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, where he now spends his time working with veterans.

“To me, being a veteran means being proud that I dedicated my life to something bigger,” said Howells. “I sacrificed sleep, family time and parts of my body to be one of the select few that were lucky enough to keep America great.”

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II performs a structural exam on an Alaska Marine Highway vessel in Malaspina, Alaska, January 4, 2010.  Howells served 30 years in the Coast Guard.  Photo provided by Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II.

Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II performs a structural exam on an Alaska Marine Highway vessel in Malaspina, Alaska, January 4, 2010. Howells served 30 years in the Coast Guard. Photo provided by Chief Warrant Officer Darrel Howells II.

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