Corpus Christi, Texas - If southern Texas had wintery weather and thick ice, Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi, could likely lay claim to performing every U.S. Coast Guard mission.
Instead, minus ice-breaking duties, the yearly responsibilities performed by the Sector include over 450 search and rescue cases, assisting with nearly 600 person in distress calls and saving nearly 100 lives and hauling in over 5,500 Ibs of drugs. All while maintaining vessel inspections, investigating marine related incidents and maintaining aids to navigation over hundreds of miles of coastline - to name a few.
This week, a group of volunteers will be visiting Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi with one mission: to increase Service Members understanding of resiliency.
Without power-point presentations, handouts or lectures, retired Air Force Generals: Brett Dula, Bruce Fister and Ed Mechenbier will spend time with Sector Coasties. “Our goal is to place: likable, relatable and relevant mentors on the deckplate and give them time to ‘break ice‘ with Service Members.” says Robi Powers, founder of the nonprofit, who adds, “these gentlemen represent nearly 100 years of uniformed duty to our country that all started off in 1964 when they graduated together from the Air Force Academy.”
While they graduated together as young Lieutenants, Mechenbier fell behind his classmates in career development, the result of spending nearly 6 years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. “So life threw me a curveball and I got beat up for a few years in a concrete closet, it didn’t stop me from living.” says the Silver Star and Gold Purple Heart recipient who was the last serving Vietnam P.O.W. when he retired a decade ago.
Now after 3 years of visiting bases Ed Mechenbier has looped in classmates Dula and Fister. “Everyone wants to know what the P.O.W. experience was like, but I think what’s more interesting is how Bruce was quietly one of our special operations command founders or Brett’s roles within nearly every leadership position the Air Force has to offer.” says Mechenbier, adding “That’s what makes the program so effective, it’s the antithesis of computer based training.”
Real life stories and experience shared by individuals who want to make the force of today the best in duty to our country, families and communities - American300 Tours.
For more information on American300 programming visit: www.American300.org
American300 is a 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit with a mission of supporting our Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Department of State. No endorsement of nonprofit is ever intended or implied - American300.org