One More Admiral on the Ice

Walking across a sheet of ice in mid-January is standard business for Coast Guardsmen serving in the Great Lakes.

Whether responding to an on-ice emergency, or training to do so in the future, Coast Guardsmen across the Great Lakes region, when adhering to appropriate safety precautions, are as “at home” on ice-covered waterways as the times of year when there is no ice.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, shakes hands with players from the Milwaukee Admirals and Charlotte Checkers after dropping a ceremonial first puck at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Jan. 7, 2012. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Admirals.

On Jan. 7, 2012, Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, walked across a span of ice in Milwaukee, except, this time, he was walking down a red carpet with a hard rubber disk in his hand.

Parks had the opportunity to drop the puck for the ceremonial first face-off before an American Hockey League game between the Milwaukee Admirals and Charlotte Checkers, at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.  He was also given the honor of riding the zamboni, sponsored by Coast Guard recruiting, re-surfacing the ice between periods.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Parks. “More than dropping the puck or riding the zamboni, seeing the faces of all the kids cheering in the crowd made the whole night worthwhile.”

Parks was in Wisconsin to deliver the keynote address for the Joint Service Working Group of the Governor’s Homeland Security Council for the State of Wisconsin.

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