2020 WD-09


September 2020

Issue 02

Meet the new US Coast Guard

Auxiliary Logo

8th District

Western Rivers Region

Publication of Alton Pool Four (Flotilla 34)

8th Western Rivers Region



Flotilla Commander

Vice Flotilla Commander-- Page 03

Parlamentarian------------ Page 04


Member - Liss----------- Page 05

Member - Tompkins----- Page 06

FSO-IS------------------- Page 08

Member - Wilson-------- Page 09

Wing Dam is a quarterly publication for the members of

the Eighth Western Rivers Region, Flotilla 34 in Electronic

ONLY format and published on the flotilla web site.

Reprints of articles or pictures may be used in other publication

without written permission provided proper credit is

given. Your feedback and contributions would be greatly

appreciated. Please send your comments, articles or feedback

to: Barbara Rhoades, FSO-PB. Address and email

available at AUXOFFICER.

Publication Deadlines

Articles sent no later than

2350 hours on:

1 March

1 June

1 September

1 December

Page 2


With the pandemic going on, the Wing Dam

has not been published for the last two issues.

Therefore, this issue will be about how our

members are coping with the shutdown of

activities as well as what that means in their dayto-day

life. Enjoy the insight into our members.

are handling the quarantine. Sometimes it is just

good to write it all down and look at it from a

new perspective. If you hold an office, you could

also write about what/if any information you have

on the AOR you cover.

All in all, the flotilla members have been safe

and healthy and we are grateful for that. Here’s

hoping this will end soon and we can return to

what we all think of as normal.

Flotilla Commander

Barbara Rhoades

Musings of the FC

2020 – it has been a strange year. It started

off normally but by mid-March we were all

quarantined and fearing for our health and safety.

COVID was the name of the threat and the nation

didn’t know how to stop it.

Our flotilla was banned from having face-to-face

meetings and Zoom and WebEx became the

norm. Even with this, we gained a new member.

Andy Wilson is a pastor and is interested in the

Chaplain program. He got his ID number on July

27, 2020 which makes him an official member of

our flotilla.

Face masks

and social


b e c a m e

normal activities and our VE station and Boating

Safety classes/events were cancelled. Even now,

September 2020, we are still doing this and it

looks like it will be happening into 2021.

With elections coming up, we will try to get

approval for an October face-to-face meeting.

There is additional paperwork and things like

safety officers and space considerations before

this can happen.

We have also not published the Wing Dam for

the last two issues as there have been little to

no activity to report. With this one, I am giving

each member a chance to write about how they

Page 3

Vice Flotilla Commander

Marilyn Aten

Corvid Didn’t Stop Auxiliary Activities

Marilyn Aten VFC, FSO-HR and FSO-MT

Listening to our Upper Leadership and the

DIRAUX Suzanne Hemann, you’d think nothing

was happening in the Auxiliary. There are

COVID-19 forms to fill out to do most everything.

I’ve been the Vice Flotilla Commander for the last

two years and converse with our Flotilla Commander,

Barbara Rhoades, about different subject

each month so we both keep up with what’s

happening in the division and district.

As the Division Member Training Officer (SO-

MT), I prepare a report each month of all the activities

and training each of our Division 3 flotillas

have been doing. Most of the Auxiliary leadership

in Division 3 attend the monthly ZOOM Leadership

Meetings put on by Commodore DeLaughter.

Several flotillas are now

meeting via ZOOM.

Members are missing

each other and the social

environment the Auxiliary

offers. They are also missing doing our missions.

Some have been out doing enough Vessel Exams

to stay qualified. Many are hoping that the

word will come down that no one will go into

REYR because of the COVID.

Many of you may know that I’m the District Administrative

Assistant. I work directly with the

Continued on Page 4

Continued from Page 3

District Commodore Tracy

DeLaughter. My job is to keep him organized

and on tract with things that need to be done

during the course of the year.

I correspond with VIPs on behalf of the Commodore

as he prepares for District Meetings in

the Spring and the Fall. I work with the Commodore’s

Planning Committee as the group develops

and organizes the meeting location, District

meetings, training and social gatherings for the

Spring D-Train and this Falls Virtual Biz Train.

I work with the Past Division Commanders Association

as Finance Officer and assist with the

Used Uniform Exchange located in St. Louis at

the Auxiliary Center.

As FSO-HR, I’m happy to say that we have a new

member, Andy Wilson, who has been active getting

his new member training completed along

with his BQII. Andy is interested in the Chaplaincy

Program and will be a welcome member to our


Flotilla 34 is one of the more active flotillas in Division

3. We like to have training at all our monthly

meetings to keep our members up to speed

on their annual requirement to stay qualified in

their Auxiliary missions. This year we started out

good. Then as you know everything changed so

we slowed down. Having a ZOOM meeting has

allowed us to bring back a little more training.

We’ve missed out on our many VE Stations at

several launch ramps and marinas. We always

have a PA Exhibit and give each boat inspected a

packet of boating information. This is our way to

connect with the public and spread safety on the

water. This is where we work to save lives. We

all miss doing these missions.

It’s important that we all stay up to speed on

our qualifications. 2021 could be interesting since

boat sales are up 58%. Boating accidents are up,

and we are definitely missed as a force whose

presence at boat ramps, boat shows, and marinas

make a difference in the accident statistics.

I think the Coast Guard is finally realizing the

many things we do as Auxiliarists that unknowingly

effect the lives of boaters.

Flotilla Staff Officer


Debby Howard


Debby Howard

For those of you who have read the September

“Recreational Boating Safety News”, you can skip

this article. If you have not yet read it, I found the

article about Electric Shock Drowning something

everyone should know. The main points of the

article by Sidney Hay, BC-BRE were:

• “Electric Shock Drowning is most prevalent

in fresh-water marinas.”

• “Electric Shock Drowning happens when

an electric current typically low-level AC

current from boats, docks or lights escapes

and shocks nearby swimmers. The shock

paralyzes them and they cannot swim or

help themselves.”

• A random sampling of shore power cords

in several fresh-water marinas showed

about 13% of tested boats were leaking

potentially lethal amounts of AC current

into the water.

• Mr. Hay concludes his article by stating, “It

is vital that every fresh-water boater and

swimmer learn how ESD happens, how to

prevent it and what to do and not to do to

help an ESD victim.”

To read the whole article go to the Sep 2020

issue of RBS Job One http://wow.uscgaux.



The link in your email was posted September 22.

Page 4

Flotilla Staff Officer-FN

Tom Phipps

COVID and the Legal Profession

Thomas Phipps

any exams in 2020. Maybe we can resume the

VE program in the spring.

The COVID crisis has been going on for

approximately six months. Hopefully, within a

year, we can get back to our normal lives and

our activities in support of the Coast Guard.

Since the COVID fighting procedures began in

March, it has been difficult for us attorneys to

practice law as usual. We are not allowed to

physically enter the courthouses. We do file

cases electronically. While electronic filing has

been in place for about 10 to 15 years, we still

need to do certain other things in person, such

as conduct jury and bench trials. The state and

local courts conduct some

dockets by Zoom and other

online sites. The federal

district and bankruptcy

courts conduct hearings

by telephone conferences.

These procedures keep the dockets moving but

much more slowly than normal. It is also difficult

to get an actual trial date. As a result, the courts

seem to be directing more attorneys and litigants

into mediation.

It is also difficult to meet clients in person

due to social distancing requirements and the

requirements that some facilities, including office

buildings, have reduced occupancy limits - in

some jurisdictions as low as 25 percent. While

it is possible to communicate with clients by

telephone, text and e-mail, face-to-face meetings

are much more private and more productive. As

a result of all of these changes, I find myself

working more from home in my law practice.

And it is also taking longer than usual to bring

cases to a resolution.

In addition to the effects on my practice of law,

I find that COVID has reduced my, and other

members, involvement in Auxiliary activities. We

have one division meeting every other month

and one flotilla meeting per month but these

are now Zoom meetings. We have fellowship

activities when possible but much less frequently

than before COVID arrived. Also, as a qualified

vessel examiner, I have not been able to conduct

Page 5

Flotilla Member

Jay Liss


Jay L. Liss, M.D.

These are a lot of letters describing significant

diagnoses and methods to relieve symptoms for

the general population.

PTSD stands for Post Trauma Stress Disorder.

The D actually stands for delayed. It gets worse

with time not age and it can occur both in the

civilian world and in the military world. The initial

stress causing PTSD can be actual physical or it

can also be experienced or perceived. Everyone

would understand the trauma of seeing an

accident in person or a physical injury creating a

reaction. However, all of us also see airplanes go

through the New York towers when we say 9/11.

This later would be an example of perceived

PTSD. Isn’t it amazing how the brain stores these

images and this is also evidence of the physical

nature of PTSD. PTSD used to be thought of

as an emotional psychiatric psychological illness.

Most have seen the movie Patton in which the

general slaps the poor private for suffering acute

stress. However, we no longer look at PTSD as

war neurosis. It is now known to be structural,

physical chemical changes of the brain brought

on by stressful or perceived stressful experiences

and therefore should not even be considered a

psychiatric condition.

The symptoms of PTSD also overlap symptoms

of TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Concussion

Syndrome. Here again more letters.

Continued on Page 6

Continued from Page 5 With PTSD there is a requirement

of a stressful event or a

near death experience creating disturbing memories,

anxiety and panic. Physical symptoms

such as sleep problems, concentration problems,

memory problems, startle reactions and hyperalert

symptoms. Complicating this picture are

the post COVID neurological symptoms which

are progressive and similar but are beyond the

scope of this report.

The awareness of the COVID pandemic has activated

and exaggerated and caused PTSD in the

general population. We have become isolated in

our simple lives, fearful, and reactive. We take

extra caution and become more focused on our

security, stockpiling of survival tools and supplies,

and protection of ourselves and our loved ones.

Those who already have PTSD find themselves

hunkering down and are developing symptoms

of solitary confinement. Getting very used to

their simple life and not anticipating leaving the

home or too many activities or even going back

to the high-rise office building. Children are safe

at their computers.

For PTSD and these other diagnoses, psychological

mental exercises have been developed that

give some relaxation and relief but do not treat

the core damage.

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy a

type of exercise used by mental health providers

to aid patients in focus. CST, Cognitive Stimulation

Therapy, an evidence-based method being

particularly seniors with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms

to advance their memory function and in

the case of COVID can also be used because

many of the COVID symptoms relate to cognitive

brain function.

COVID-19 is a pebble in a pond backwards. Although

it’s a microscopic virus, the complications

now seem to be legion and unfortunately there is

going to be significant effect on the mental health

and neurological health of the global population.

Flotilla Member

Craig Tompkins

How I Spent the Covid-19 Pandemic

Criag Tompkins

SPANISH LAKE, Mo. – For me, flotilla activities

began as scheduled in 2020. The flotilla held its

first boating safety class at Holiday Shores, IL on

February 29, 2020. The flotilla had other boating

classes scheduled throughout the year. Those,

however, did not materialize and flotilla activities

took on a whole new direction shortly thereafter.

Between March 14, 2020 and March 20,

2020, three ALAUX messages where sent out

describing the increasing severity of COVID-19

and affectively shutting down all Auxiliary

activities. On March 23, 2020, St. Louis City and

St. Louis County issued health orders prohibiting

all activities except those deemed as essential

services. Basically, the citizenry of these areas

was told to go home, stay home, and don’t come

out of your homes except for essential activities.

The City and County provided a list of over 25

activities that they considered essential. Since my

employer was an essential activity (airline) my

COVID 19 vacation did not materialize.

As Auxiliary activities ground to a halt, my work

activities transitioned to my home office. Honest,

I really did get up and get dressed on my work

days. However. I suspected that some of my

colleagues, who could not get their video access

to work, were actually working in their pajamas.

Many of you know my skepticism about electronic

meetings and their security issues. But reality has

set in and I now have Zoom, Skype, Teams, Got

to Meeting, and Go to Training installed on my

various electronic devices. And the premium

addition of Norton Life Lock. Electronic meetings

and training sessions are no longer the wave of

the future. They are reality and will continue to

displace our face-to-face way of life.

On July 19, 2020, our FC forwarded an email

from the Branch Chief Photography announcing

an online photography course sponsored by the

Continued on Page 7

Page 6

Continued from Page 6 PA Directorate. So, why not join. Ninety-one other people had the same thought.

Most of the participants are from the Auxiliary but Coast Guard and Army members

have enrolled as well. The Auxiliary photograph archive is in need of new material for PA and training

publications. By increasing the number of auxiliary photographers, it is hoped that the archive stock

will also increase.

Since this is the first time that this class has been given, the bugs are still being worked out. Software

and apps to conduct the training were initially a challenge but fast and concerted efforts by the

instructor and sponsors of the class changed up the platforms. The course is now running effectively

without the initial challenges.

The course consists of four classes each consisting of four sessions. The course started out to be 16

weeks long. It soon grew to 32 weeks by inserting a home work review session every other week.

Considering the number of students submitting photographs for critique every week this course

modification was definitely needed and is a significant course improvement. Every student who

submits a homework assignment each week receives a critique by email from the instructor.

The photography course began on July 27, 2020 and will end sometime around St. Patrick’s Day.

The weekly sessions run about an hour and fifteen minutes. As for the homework, that will take

one to three hours per week to complete. Depending on your situation this can be a significant

commitment in time and energy. I can tell you from experience that you will probably shoot ten

pictures for a homework assignment before you get the “keeper” that you want to submit as your

completed work.

The photography course is taking up time that I would normally devote to other auxiliary activities

but it is well worth my time. The dedicate instructor and course sponsors are to be congratulated

for the development, modification and presentation of this stimulating course. A Bravo Zulu to all.

Page 7

EDITOR’S NOTE: The photo on the last page and the one on this page are two

examples of the fine work this course has produced. And, I am told that the one on

this page has been submitted to the archieves! GREAT WORK!

Flotilla Staff Officer-IS

Barbara Rhoades

There have been so much confusing information or lack of information that our members just might

end up in RYER because of the pandemic.

It has been asked time and again what will happen if we don’t get our hours in for instructor or

vessel examinations or any other qualification that requires a certain amount of time to stay qualified.

Unfortunately, there has not been an answer from those up the chain.

So here are some ways to get in those required hours. If you are an Instructor and need hours,

why not help your newer members complete their BQII training or help someone figure out the

new AUXDATA II. You can teach BQII to all your flotilla members via a Zoom meeting. While older

members are not required to complete this training, being up-to-date on current information is never

a bad thing.

If you are a VE, good news! We are now allowed to do them BUT be sure to wear a mask!!!!

It is late in the year and there are only 2.5 to 3 months left to get hours into AUXDATA II. So get

going if you need hours so you don’t end up with a REYR letter. UGH!

Page 8

Flotilla Member

Andy Wilson

First Impressions

Andy Wilson

I’m the newest member of our flotilla and so

I wondered what I had to contribute to our

publication. Having no technical expertise or

wisdom learned from years in the Coast Guard

Auxiliary, I wasn’t sure what experiences I could

share that others would find helpful or

interesting. That’s when it occurred

to me that I do have one experience

that is unique to our flotilla – I am the

newest member. Yes, being a new

member is not a unique experience.

Every person reading this is likely a

long-term member of our flotilla. However, how

long has it been since you were the new member

of the Coast Guard Auxiliary? My point is, my

unique experience as the newest member, is that

I can share with you my first impressions of the

Auxiliary in general, and our flotilla in particular

through fresh eyes.

I had never heard of the Coast Guard Auxiliary

until early this spring. While having a BBQ with

my wife, I met a gentleman in a St. Louis park

wearing an Auxiliary ball cap. I

asked him about the Auxiliary and

he spent the next half-hour telling

me stories of great adventures and

lifelong friendships as a member. As

soon as I got home, I did some internet research

on my own and I was immediately captivated by

what I learned. I was amazed at these volunteers

who often work as a force multiplier side-by-side

with the Coast Guard. It was here that I learned

that the Coast Guard Auxiliary was looking for

qualified pastors to serve as chaplains to support

the mission of Coast Guard chaplains. This felt

like a great opportunity to do what I love while

being of service to those who serve our nation.

while we navigated how to safely live our lives in

a pandemic. However, the Auxiliary was quickly

up and running with online training for us new

folks and our flotilla’s FC Barbara Rhoades and

VFC Marilyn Aten kept me on track for the work

I needed to complete to get my member number.

Even with a pandemic in our midst, the officers

of our flotilla have guided and encouraged me

along my Auxiliary journey from the

beginning. Once I complete an ABS

course and receive a favorable PSI,

I will be Basically Qualified and can

continue the process to qualify as

a chaplain in the Auxiliary Chaplain

Support program.

Much has happened in all of our lives during the

pandemic. COVID-19 has made 2020 challenging

to say the least. But, at least for me, I have

something positive that came out of 2020 – I

joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and am well

on my way to being able to serve as a chaplain!

I couldn’t have made it this far without the

awesome support from my flotilla. I just wanted

to share my first impressions with you all and let

you know that I think you are doing an awesome

job during a challenging time!

Lime Kiln Lighthouse

San Juan Island, Washington

Courtesy of Webshots

I was eager to submit my application to join the

Auxiliary and then COVID-19 hit the US. As you

are aware, everything slowed to a snail’s pace

Page 9

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