Remarks to the U.S. Navy Memorial Lone Sailor Award Dinner

Thank you very much, Admiral Michel, for this Lone Sailor Award, which I will cherish forever.

As a proud, but non-heroic, enlisted man in the U.S. Coast Guard, I accept this award by thanking the dedicated Coast Guardsmen, Sailors, Marines and Merchant Marines, who carry out their many responsibilities with courage and commitment, sacrifice and honor, each and every day, often in harm’s way.

Looking at your list of past honorees and receiving this honor with two great leaders, Bob Stevens and Jim Skinner, I feel a definite kinship with the Camelot character Mordred of whom Lady Guinevere observed:  “The only thing I can say for him is that he is bound to marry well.  Everybody is above him.”

Two brief points:   First, I enjoyed my Coast Guard Service as a great learning opportunity, and I loved my active duty at Cape May, New Jersey.  The only downside – after I returned to Georgia after six months in New Jersey, all of my friends accused me of having a Yankee accent.

My second point:  In a dangerous world with serious challenges popping up around the globe, the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation appropriately reminds us of the essential core values of the Sea Services:  honor, courage, and commitment.  My enlisted experience in the Coast Guard pounded home to me the practical reasons why these core values are so important in terms of trust, unit cohesion and military effectiveness.   

So I am very thankful:

  • I feel very fortunate to have served in the United States Coast Guard.
  • I feel very fortunate to have spent 24 years working with the members of all of our military services.
  • I am grateful to all who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor, commitment, and courage.
  • I am blessed to receive this high honor – and will be thankful forever for it.
September 18, 2014

NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn accepts a Lone Sailor Award from the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation.

Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

Co-Chair, NTI