Families reunited after Coast Guard Cutter docks at Base Alameda

In a heartwarming reunion, families greeted their loved ones as they came off board Coast Guard Cutter Berthof at Base Alameda.

The reunion comes after 150 military members were deployed for 100 days on Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf across the Pacific. The crew returned Monday, reuniting with their families after engaging in international relations at sea.

The port at Base Alameda was filled with images of children running into their parents' arms, kisses between spouses, and decorated signs declaring how much they were missed.

Seven-year-old Corina Marin wore a special Coast Guard dress for the occasion.

"It feels like I have not seen my dad in forever, and I’m just so excited to see him," she said while she waited.

"We traveled over 21,000 nautical miles over this 100-day period, stopping in places such as Singapore, Malaysia, went as far west as the Indian Ocean to India," said Captain Billy Mees, the commanding officer onboard.


Adoption celebration: Vacaville officer reunites with 3 children he found living in 'horrific' conditions

It was a joyous occasion for a reunion for Vacaville Police Officer Issac Stevens, who attended a special adoption court proceeding for three children he first met three years ago, as they were living in "horrific" conditions.

He said the hard part is missing out on holidays and big milestones.

"It’s very emotional, leaving right after the holidays and being gone for so long," he said.

Katherine Glashagel said her husband was finally reunited with their four-month old baby David, who was born in mid-December.

"I’m excited to see them interact and get to know each other again," said said. "He’s done such a great job [at work], and I’m sure he’ll be an even better dad."

Blake Peterson greeted his girlfriend with flowers.

"I’m in the Coast Guard, active duty as well, but I’m stationed in Virginia at the moment and so I took off the week to come out here," he said. 

The emotional moment when the "Coasties" are back with their families, is the moment they live for.

"It was something I’ve been waiting for since the minute I left," said Mees with tears in his eyes. "I’m very proud to sail with these folks and very happy to bring them back home to their families."

"I get to be a dad, and a friend and a husband," said Chief Petty Officer Jerome Manuel.

It’s a sacrifice the whole family makes. Manuel has spent more than two decades in the Coast Guard, and he said the sting of the distance doesn’t get easier, but the support from his wife and four kids makes the difference.

"We have our boat buddies and our comradery, but our family is our backbone – we can’t operate, we can’t function without knowing that our family is safe," Manuel said.

Mees said of the 150 crew members, a couple dozen were Navy sailors and Marines who joined the mission.

Coast Guard Cutter Berthoff will remain at the port on Base Alameda for cleaning and maintenance until the Fall, so the crew have a few months to spend with their loved ones.