LauryAnn Lalicker has her supplies ready for kindergarten. Photo courtesy of Christi Lalicker.

From the Homefront: Back to school

We just moved again, and the first thing I did when I got to Northern Virginia was to register my kids for school. I was dreading it. It can be complicated, and I just wasn’t up to having to argue about placements and documentation from the last school. I know I am not alone in dreading all the coordination and planning involved in starting a new school. Getting ready for every school year, even if you’ve been there for a while, can be stressful. So I asked some Coastie spouses to join me in offering tips for getting prepared.

Shelley Kimball and her family. Photo by Bill Keefrey.

From the Homefront: Year in review

It is hard to believe that a year has passed here at From the Homefront. In our first column, we set our goals – specifically to make sure Coast Guard families’ voices are heard and to start conversations together about what matters in our lives. You honored me resoundingly by sharing your stories and experiences, and by doing so, we have shown thousands of readers what it means to be a Coastie.

Lauren Gainor being sworn into the U.S. Coast Guard by her dad, Cmdr. Dan Gainor, the morning of her graduation from the Merchant Marine Academy. Photo courtesy of Lt. j.g. Lauren Gainor.

From the Homefront: Following in a parent’s footsteps

In honor of April being the Month of the Military Child, we introduce four Coastie kids who grew up and chose to follow in the footsteps of the Coast Guardsmen in their lives. All of them said childhood as a military kid shaped their futures and the career choices they made, whether or not the initially planned to join. And all of them appreciate what life as Coast Guard kids brought them.

Gracie and Joey Kimball. Photo by Bill Keefry

From the Homefront: What your kids think you do for a living

Our last column was, without a doubt, our most popular. It was so much fun to share all of the unique facets of Coast Guard life. It made me wonder what kids think about what our Coasties do all day.

Screenshot from inside the U.S. Coast Guard coloring book.

In the community: The Coast Guard coloring book

If you’ve ever hosted an elementary school group on a unit tour or visited a third-grade classroom, you probably know the challenge of keeping kids engaged. The under-12 set might “ooh and ahh” over a shiny helicopter or uniform bling, but they aren’t going to sit still for a PowerPoint deck to learn about the missions of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard Community Relations is happy to offer you a solution. A new Coast Guard coloring book is now available.

A fireworks show is displayed during OpSail 2012 in Fort Trumbull in New London, Conn., Saturday, July 7, 2012, while the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is moored to a pier. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

Celebrate Independence Day safely

Independence Day is a highlight of the summer and for many people there’s a lot of excitement around setting off colorful fireworks and grilling outdoors. As you plan your Fourth of July celebration with family and friends, please consider the following safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration to ensure your holiday weekend is a safe one.