>America’s Birthday

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The rain fell steadily over Sitka, Alaska on Independence Day, but that didn’t hinder the spirits of USCGC MAPLE crewmenbers. The crew lined up to march in the annual 4th of July Parade soaking wet, but with patriotism in their hearts.

In the previous weeks, the crew had been building a float for the parade. The float featured two buoys, a buoy chain, Captain America, Wonder Woman, a light, and a mini buoy sinker. CWO2 Sage and Cadet Jason Mayes rode the float, flexing their muscles while performing a “heat and beat”. A heat and beat is utilized in a buoy evolution when a section of buoy chain needs replacing. In order to reattach a new section of chain, a connecting link is attached to a rivet pin which is slid into place to fasten the link. The rivet pin, also known as the heat and beat pin, is heated until it is glowing red and then hammered down in order to ensure the pin does not break free of the connecting link. This process is often looked at with a competitive eye when it comes to the crew of a buoy tender, and crewmembers often battle for the quickest times and hardest hits.

The 4th of July parade was a success as much of the town lined the streets to enjoy the parade. Cheers were heard throughout the crowd as the crew of the MAPLE marches in section and the clang of the heat and beat rang throughout the streets. The MAPLE crew was proud to be part of the Fourth of July celebration and happy to spend our nation’s birthday displaying their patriotism to the public.

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