Episode 74: Featuring US Coast Guard Sector San Diego and SDSU Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center

US Coast Guard Sector San Diego

San Diego is the 21st largest Coast Guard City in the country, a designation that is given by Congress to cities that show overwhelming support to the men, women and families of the US Coast Guard. San Diego demonstrated that and congress agreed. Three members of Coast Guard Sector San Diego sat down with Rise Up Radio host Jared Kelley and special guest host Phil Kendro to unpack just what the Coast Guard does, share some personal life saving experiences and to talk about its impact in the San Diego community. One of the guests, Captain Joe Buzzella, Sector Commander and Captain of the Port of San Diego, explains they have 11 mandated missions. In San Diego the Coast Guard does everything from escorting cruise ships out to make sure their transiting outbound is safe, to enforcing and securing safety zones to keeping the environment safe, saving lives through search and rescue and law enforcement. Of all the five US Armed Forces, the Coast Guard is the only military service with law enforcement authority. The guests also explain that their maritime boarder covers a much larger area than most people realize, going from all the way to the south of L.A, their responsibility also extends to Arizona and the southern parts of Utah and Nevada. The men and women in the Coast Guard are constantly patrolling to keep drugs from coming into the country as well as being involved in trying to stop illegal immigration on the maritime side. Commander Rob Potter, Response Chief for Coast Gard Sector San Diego, who is also a helicopter pilot, and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross medal, shares the intense details of the daring rescue which saved 20 people and resulted in his receiving the medal.


Holly Shaffner & Amanda Etter - SDSU Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center

Holly Shaffner, Military Liason Officer at San Diego State University and military veteran joined Amanda Etter, Education Advisor and Veteran Advocate at SDSU, also a military veteran, joined Rise Up Radio host, Jared Kelley and special guest host Phil Kendro to talk about the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center. Shaffner said one of the reasons she chose SDSU herself is because they have such a great veterans program. “Amanda and I are both very passionate about what we do. We love helping our active duty veterans and military families to get into San Diego State and sometimes navigate that tricky admissions process. We are just very blessed out there at SDSU to have a great veterans program and a great veteran’s center”. Etter discusses the development of a new program called Women Veterans Success, a program that not only assists veteran students on campus but those within the community. She tells Kelley and Kendro, “What we’re trying to do is to really empower and engage women veterans while addressing any needs and challenges that they might have. We aim to create clearer, less stereotypical picture of who women veterans are. The program is based around three pillars of success. Academic success, promoting their personal wellbeing and increasing their professional success.” Both Shaffner and Etter talk about some of the challenges women veterans face, explaining that it is not about how women have needs more important than their male counterparts, but that those needs are just different. They also share details about the first ever upcoming Women’s Veterans Forum event that will host 500 military connected women. The Forum will feature keynote speakers and a mixer to help veterans connect with opportunities.



1. The US Coast Guard continuously strive to bring an awareness of water safety to the public and the importance of their operations and missions. The Coast Guard is hosting an Open House on Friday, August 4th, 2017 from 10am-12pm where you can experience the significance of their duties and celebrate the Coast Guard's 227th Birthday! Click here for more information about the event or visit their website to learn more about the US Coast Guard. 

2. Education and admissions can be complex, which is why SDSU Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center want to share their resources and programs with our local Veterans to help ease that process. If you or someone you know, would like to get involved or admitted, contact Holly at hshaffner@sdsu.edu or visit their website.