Send Your Hero Military Care Packages for All Branches of the Armed Forces
The Coast Guard is the oft-overlooked brother of the United States’ eight uniformed armed forces. These heroes defend the coast, conduct search-and-rescue missions, and enforce maritime law. That’s important business!
Just like every other branch of the military, there are famous Coast Guard veterans who served this country and became heroes. These are their stories.
Signalman First Class Douglas Munro
Called “the ultimate hero of the Coast Guard,” Canadian-born Munroe died on Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942. He commanded a group of Higgins boats in the battle and was responsible for the safe evacuation of more than 500 Marines who came under heavy fire. He used his boat as a shield. After he was wounded, his last words were, “Did they get off?” Munro knew his mission, and he gave his life to save hundreds of others.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. personal military decoration, the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the award for service in this military branch. He is also the only non-Marine to have his name on the Wall of Heroes of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Before the Lighthouse Service was combined with the Coast Guard, Ida Lewis spent 39 years as keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island, and an additional 15 living and working there. She is credited with saving 18 lives, her first when she was just 12 years old, and her last at 63, and was one of the first women in the Lighthouse Service.
Lime Rock Lighthouse was renamed Ida Lewis Light in her honor, along with a coastal buoy tender. She received a silver medal from the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York, and earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal for her heroic actions.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal
Nathan Bruckenthal and a team of Navy personnel intercepted a boat in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. Terrorists aboard detonated a bomb as Bruckenthal and his team attempted to board. The bomb overturned Bruckenthal’s vessel.
Later, 24-year-old Bruckenthal died from his injuries — the first Coast Guard war casualty since the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart.
Lieutenant Thomas Crotty
“Jimmy” Crotty was the first Coast Guard prisoner of war since the War of 1812. After several positions in the Pacific, Crotty was attached to the Marine Corps Fourth Regiment when the Japanese forces attacked the Philippines.
As the Battle of Corregidor raged on, Crotty was captured by the Japanese and held in Cabanatuan Prison in 1942. He died there of diphtheria. His remains weren’t positively identified until 2019. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and a Prisoner of War Medal.
Captain Joseph O. Doyle
A skilled boatbuilder and fisherman before joining the Coast guard, Doyle became the keeper of the Charlotte, New York Life Saving Station. In 1878, he completed two rescue missions that cemented his name in history. First, at the wreck of the schooner B.P. Dorr of Chicago, Doyle rescued six men and women aboard the boat and brought them safely to shore.
A little more than a month later, Doyle showed his bravery once again as he ordered a lantern squad to monitor the shore for any passengers of the schooner Star of Millpoint from Ontario who may have fallen overboard during a fierce storm.
For his efforts, he was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle, named for the Captain, was commissioned into service in 2019 during a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Coast Guard Care Packages
Every Coast Guardsman is a hero, including yours! Send your personal hero a military care package from My Hero Crate, no matter where they’re stationed, with free standard shipping to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. Our care packages are full of American-sourced, military-approved snacks to help your hero feel at home, and we donate a portion of our proceeds to a meaningful veteran-focused non-profit organization! Shop now.