The U.S. Coast Guard cutter "Boutwell" recently sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge marking the last few miles of its journey home to its Alameda base on Coast Guard Island. Those welcoming the crew home included a couple of young boys proudly waving a pirate flag in honor of their older brother's accomplishments at sea.
"He's just like, been going around the world and he's 19," Quinn Medina told ABC7.
"I think it's pretty amazing how they're out there fighting pirates," added his brother Ryan.
Scores of wives and mothers and their little ones also had their eyes on the ship for a particular person.
"My dad... and it was half a year," said one little girl.
Those coming off the Boutwell shared some joyful surprise.
"I left this guy... he was one year old. Now he's already shaving. Crazy," said Chief Petty Officer Craig Sullivan holding his son.
Sullivan also said his 179-member crew is also returning home armed with experience.
"We went to Libya, the first American ship to go there in 40 years. That was quite an accomplishment. We were around piracy stuff, always drug runners we were keeping an eye on. It's another day in the life of the Coast Guard," he said.
The crew's missions included training foreign navies, sharing techniques and building stronger relations between countries from Saudi Arabia to Libya. Boutwell also supported Department of Defense security operations and really did come across pirates.
"We were able to prevent one attack that was actually underway and we interrupted that and were able to get them to break off from the vessel that they were attacking," recalled Capt. Charles Cashin.
Much of the details of their security missions are private, but what is not is the pride, including from the wife of the ships' commanding officer.
"He's the captain and this was his last chance. And, he's always wanted to go around the world," said Claire Cavanaugh, wife of ship Captain Kevin Cavanaugh.