2. The Pig From ‘Nam.
During the Vietnam War, a squadron from the USCGC Point Glover saved a local boy’s life and, as a thank you gift, were presented with a Vietnamese black pot-bellied pig by the boy’s family. Since they couldn’t honorably refuse the gift, the men of Squadron One Division 11 decided to keep the animal— a female piglet that they named Samantha. The men grew so attached to the pig that they refused to leave her behind, going so far as to sneak her onto the Point Glover and hide during official inspections.
4. The Student Bear.
In 1927, a U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet decided to come back from summer vacation with a live black bear cub. The entire corps fell in love with the bear, whom the cadets named “Objee” (short for “The Objectionable Presence”). The admiral in charge of the academy appointed the bear the school’s official mascot, and for the next 50 years, there was always an Objee living in the barracks with cadets.
5. The Regal Penguin.
During the Coast Guard’s exploration of Antartica as part of “Operation Deep Freeze,” one particular penguin decided to make friends with the crew of the USCGC Eastwind. The bird was so friendly that they were able to paint a tuxedo and Coast Guard logo on their new recruit.
7. The Seal of Approval.
The keepers of the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse in the 1960s befriended a young California harbor seal that liked to eat the food scraps that were sometimes tossed into the ocean. The keepers named the little seal Charlie and, over a series of months, coaxed him to eat food from their hands. The men adopted Charlie the seal as the Lighthouse’s mascot and took care of him as he grew up.
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