Families welcome back Coast Guard members as USCG Cutter Healy returns to Seattle

SEATTLE — On this Veterans Day, dozens of families gathered as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy returned to Seattle.

“We’re expecting (in) mid-January, so it’s very exciting to have him come home. He’s missed a lot of the pregnancy itself, so it’s really exciting to have him back today,” said Katherine Diko, wife of a Coast Guard member.

After 124 days at sea, more than 80 Coast Guard members returned home.

“This is definitely the most magical part of the trip, coming home and seeing everyone on the pier waiting for us,” said USCG Chief Petty Officer Steve Weintraub.

“I like that he’s home now,” said Weintraub’s daughter.

“You know, after being gone for four months it’s quite nice to be home, and it’s kind of surreal if you think about it,” said USCG Senior Chief Marine Science Technician Matthew Fritchey.

Capt. Kenneth Boda, Commanding Officer of the Healy, says the 17,000-mile deployment was historic.

“Well, we went to the North Pole which was a very unusual occurrence. This ship’s been to the North Pole only three times,” said Boda.

Boda says they were supporting a science mission, with 40 scientists joining them.

“We basically did a snapshot of all the different changes in the climate and the biology changes in the water, all the way to the North Pole and back,” said Boda.