>ACUSHNET Guardian of the Year

>Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET sailor Lewis McCurry was recognized as ACUSHNET’s 2008 “Guardian of the Year.” The award, which is given to one Coast Guardsman annually, is given to one person who truly lives the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. The award came as a shock to McCurry because he did not know his shipmates nominated him.

McCurry, a First Class Machinist’s Mate, is a large part of the reason why the 65 year-old ACUSHNET is still able to sail in the harsh Alaskan environment. If the air-conditioning stops working in the ship’s radio-room in the middle of the night, count on McCurry to show up and have it fixed in ten minutes. If the refrigerators onboard fail, McCurry will be there and have it fixed long before the food spoils. If a fire breaks out in the engine room, he is the first one to respond. Without his wide-array of knowledge and skill sets, many of the ship’s machinery systems would be inoperable.

Its one thing to have an intimate knowledge of the ship’s engineering systems, but McCurry is the “go-to-guy” about all things off the ship as well. He is a primary coxswain of the ship’s small boat, safely delivering boarding teams to fishing vessels in the Bering Sea. He helps out shipmates with car repairs, potentially saving them thousands of dollars, and has tutored shipmates on investing and saving for retirement.

Even with so much time spent helping shipmates, McCurry still finds time to give back to the local Ketchikan community. He assisted in the formation of the first Girl Scout troop in the city, and volunteered at the Salvation Army where he served holiday meals and unloaded Christmas Trees to be sold for a youth fundraiser. McCurry also offered his time and skills to repair and paint the Ketchikan Gateway Center for Human Services. His dedication to the community serves as a positive reflection upon the Coast Guard.

McCurry has a servant’s heart and a warrior’s strength. He is a determined leader in the Coast Guard, in the community, and at home, where he is happily married and the father of two children. The ACUSHNET is lucky to have him onboard. It is no wonder his shipmates nominated him as ACUSHNET’s “Guardian of the Year.”