Coast Guard — Armed Forces Week
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) salutes the United States Coast Guard during the 2023 Armed Forces Week. Each branch of the Armed Forces has its own song, which many have heard combined in the famous version of the Armed Forces Medley. What many may not realize is that the words to each song portray its branch’s core values and beliefs.
In honor of the U.S. Coast Guard, we want to publish the words to “Semper Paratus”, the official song, whose words were written in 1922 and music was composed in 1927, both by Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck. He wrote the words while stationed in Savannah, Georgia, and the music while stationed in Unalaska, Alaska. This mirrors the first lines of the song, which emphasize the wide-flung service zone of the Coast Guard.
The term “Semper Paratus”, which means “Always Ready”, had only become the official motto of the Guard in 1910, and Van Boskerck hoped, through his song, to make it as well known as “Semper Fidelis” for the Marines or “Anchors Away” for the Navy. “Semper Paratus” refers to the readiness of the Coast Guard to serve the country whenever and wherever is needed. Interestingly, the Coast Guard is the only branch of the Armed Forces who serves both as military and as law enforcement, so they truly are everywhere.
From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone
To Europe and Far East.
The Flag is carried by our ships,
In times of war and peace.
And never have we struck it yet
In spite of foe-men’s might,
Who cheered our crews and cheered again,
For showing how to fight.
We’re always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
“Semper Paratus” is our guide,
Our fame, our glory, too.
To fight to save or fight and die,
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!
The VLB wishes a Happy Armed Forces Week to the United States Coast Guard and all who have served as Coastguardsmen! We are grateful for your choices and sacrifices to watch the coasts and protect our country.
The VLB is happy to provide any needed help for these American heroes. The mission for the VLB is “to ensure that we offer the very best package of Veterans benefits in the country and those of us who work for the VLB strive to meet those goals every day. For more than 70 years, we have had the honor to serve Veterans, Military Members and their families in Texas, and we look forward to keeping that promise in the years to come.” Call 1–800–252–8387, email VLBinfo@glo.texas.gov, or visit vlb.texas.gov to see the different benefits available.
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