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'It was a real blessing to come home': Coast Guard crew docks just in time for Christmas

About 80 men and women spent two months out at sea on the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —

As we get closer to Christmas and New Year, everyone wants to spend quality time with family members. But, for men and women in the Coast Guard, it isn’t always that simple. 

“It’s a little hard you know not having that second person there especially with a little one,” Alisha Centino-Smith said. 

Centino-Smith’s husband has been gone for two months. She just got the news he’d be home in time for Christmas. 

“I was so excited especially when they told us they were going to be here a day early. That was like the best news ever! I made sure I decorated the house so I can't wait until he sees what I did putting up the tree and everything,” Centino-Smith said. 

The Coast Guard Resolute had a crew of almost 80 this time around. The Resolute crew conducted training exercises, participated in diplomatic relations in Belize and conducted counter-drug law enforcement operations in the Pacific.

“It was a great patrol really proud of them. We were out at sea for Thanksgiving. I made sure we had a huge feast. Last year we missed Christmas, this year we made it,” said the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute Roy Brubaker. 

The crew's families waited for their arrival Sunday afternoon at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg's South Moorings. Each family held up their signs and waved at their loved one on board.

“I was excited! I'll tell you a day at sea is never easy. It's very precious and I'm very grateful I have my family with me for the holidays,” Nicholas Urena said. 

Two months later the crew is docked days before Christmas. Another holiday together is the best wish come true the families could've asked for.

“This would've been our third missed one in a row, so it was a real blessing to come home,” John Chambers said.

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