Coast Guardsmen conduct surprise ‘lawn enforcement’ operation

>Station Harbor Beach crewmembers assist local veteran

On Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, five crewmembers from Station Harbor Beach, Mich., volunteered to assist a local resident with yardwork that he was unable to accomplish on his own. Some came in on their day off to help out Arnold Koehn, a local fixture around the Harbor Beach community. He is an veteran of the Army and National Guard and is a retired postal worker. Koehn is also active in the American Legion, which is how he came to know the crew of Station Harbor Beach.

“He’s really big in the American Legion up here,” said Petty Officer 1st Class George London, executive petty officer at Station Harbor Beach. “Both chief and I are new in the area, so he came by the station with applications for us to join.”

It was during a meeting at the Legion Hall that London learned of Koehn’s list of yardwork that needed to be finished, but that he was being slowed down by his medical appointments and treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.

(Right: Chief Petty Officer Scott Cichoracki, Petty Officer 2nd Class Vincent Reyes and Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Waikel trim back hedges at the home of Arnold Koehn, a veteran and Harbor Beach resident with Parkinson’s Disease. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George London.)

“He told us about the stuff that needed to get done, and we told him, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it,'” said London.

London, along with Chief Petty Officer Scott Cichoracki, the officer in charge of Station Harbor Beach, Petty Officer 2nd Class Vincent Reyes, Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Rivero, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Waikel, went to Koehn’s while he was away at an appointment and trimmed back more than 60 feet of overgrown hedge and cleared out the gardens surrounding his house.

“He came home and was really appreciative for what we did,” said London. “He asked if there was anything he could do for us, but we told him, ‘You’ve done so much for the community, and this is our chance to give something back to you.'”

(Left: Petty Officer 2nd Class Vincent Reyes, Petty officer 3rd Class Robert Waikel and Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Rivero of Station Harbor Beach stand next to a trimmed hedge after station crewmembers volunteered to help a local resident with work around his home. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Scott Cichoracki.)

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