Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: David Linder, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Station Sodus Point, N.Y.

Every day, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer their time, skills and talents to support and augment the active-duty workforce. Unlike the reserve component of the Coast Guard, auxiliarists are not reimbursed for their service. They are true public servants. David Linder is one who felt compelled to answer the call to duty. Not only is he a skilled bag piper and member of the Coast Guard Pipe Band, he is also a qualified crew member aboard Station Sodus Point, N.Y.’s small boat as well as a certified auxiliary food service specialist.

Coast Guard trains at Fort Knox

Coast Guard Auxiliarist David Linder at his barbecue station

In August 2013, Linder volunteered to deploy to Fort Knox, Ky., for three months to support the Coast Guard 9th District mounted automatic weapons training team. During this period, Linder was asked to employ his skill as a chef, and he produced daily meals for the entire training team five days a week. Always seeking ways to better the quality of life for his shipmates, Linder tailored the menu to the desires of the crew and season. He even cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner toward the end of the deployment that consisted of two turkeys, all the sides and of course pumpkin pies. The true testament to Linder’s cooking ability was the fact that all meals were prepared in a field kitchen consisting of a few barbecue grills and a makeshift wash station. His hard work and devotion to duty has earned Linder the title of “Honorary Chief.”

“The Chief’s Mess looks up to Linder because of his knowledge of the MAW program and the wisdom that he contributes to the Mess,” said Chief Petty Officer Carey Jung, officer-in-charge at Station Sodus Point.

Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew members

Coast Guard Auxiliarists David Linder and Bob Meddaugh

When not volunteering for a special assignment, Linder stands duty an average of three days per week during the summer operational season, mostly Friday through Sunday. Although not required, he completed the rigorous task of qualification as crew member on the station’s small boat and has continuously met the required number of underway hours needed to remain qualified. During the summer of 2013, Linder served as a crew member during 10 search and rescue evolutions, including a vessel fire, a runaway boat, and the recovery of people stranded in the water. His passion and enthusiasm encourages other auxiliary members to strive for qualification.

Besides standing the watch at his primary duty station at Sodus Point, Linder has also selflessly stood by for active-duty food service specialists at both Station Rochester, N.Y., and Station Oswego, N.Y., allowing his active-duty counterparts to take leave.

Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew members

Coast Guard Station Sodus Point, N.Y. 25-foot Response Boat crew

In 2007, Linder began participating in the Coast Guard Pipe Band. As the Coast Guard 9th District Pipe Band coordinator, he arranges all performances in the region. For the last five years, he has participated in parades as a piper during the annual Coast Guard Festival held in Grand Haven, Mich. His actions project the Coast Guard into public view, helping to share its rich history.

Linder’s dedication comes from his love of country and spirit of volunteerism. As a prior Marine, he feels the Coast Guard Auxiliary provides a way of continuing his service to the American people. He embodies the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty and has no plans to stop supporting the Coast Guard.

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