First lady commissions Cutter Stratton

First lady Michelle Obama waves as U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief David L. Stephens escorts her in the rain to a commissioning ceremony of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, which moves into active service, at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
March 31, 2012 8:41:22 PM PDT
Despite the heavy downpour, the buckets of rain, and the unforgiving wind, there were still plenty of people ecstatic to be in Alameda Saturday.

The main attraction was the brand new U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton being christened by first lady Michelle Obama.

"You all are troopers. Way to go, I'm proud of you all for making it through this day," Obama said.

The cutter is named after Captain Dorothy Stratton. She was a director of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve during World War II.

Today, one of the ship's commanders is a woman.

"It's special. It's special for everyone and for all the ladies I think in particular," Cmd. Laura Collins said of the historic day.

Several Stratton family members traveled from all over for the event.

Richard Stratton, Dorothy's nephew, said, "To have this beautiful cutter with her name on it, she would be extremely pleased."

To have the first lady's support as a ship sponsor only added to the day's significance.

"And today we commission this ship as a tribute not just to Dorothy but to all the women who served with her," Obama said.

The public got to tour the ship. But first, many opted to take in a different sight.

"Seeing Michelle Obama is so cool and seeing that big ship, it's a lot of fun," said 15-year-old Austin Blair.

The Cutter Stratton will head south in late April for an enforcement mission and then will return in about 90 days.


Load Comments