PUBLISHED: 4:59 PM on Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Juneau-Douglas grad fights war on terrorism with service in United States Coast Guard
Lt. J.G. Orion Bloom, a 200 graduated of Juneau-Douglas High School, had a notion to join the U.S. Coast Guard when his sixth-grade wrestling coach at Floyd Dryden Middle School suggested it. After going to college in Oregon and graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in South Carolina with a degree in civil engineering, Bloom is now lieutenant junior grade for the U.S. Coast Guard and is currently deployed with the under Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.

He said being part of the Coast Guard is something he wanted to do for years.

Courtesy photo
  Lt. J.G. Orion Bloom, a 200 graduated of Juneau-Douglas High School, is is currently deployed with the under U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces in Southwest Asia.
"I enjoy being out on the water and the military side of the Coast Guard and their mission," Bloom said. "It really drew me to the Coast Guard."

The former Juneau resident now serves as an executive officer of Coast Guard Cutter Baranof, a 110-foot patrol boat, in Southwest Asia.

"Our main mission is to provide security and stability as much as we can," Bloom said. "There's definitely a fun opportunity to see a different culture that is much different than us. It's very international so you get a lot of Arabic people, but also a lot of people from all over the world. I get to interact with a lot of different people; it's definitely interesting and definitely been a lot of fun so far."

He said working with other military personnel is enjoyable for him.

"One of the things I've found to be a lot of fun here is being able to work with other international people. We've met guys from Australia and Britain, and it's been a lot fun to work with them. They teach us a few things, and we teach them how we do things," Bloom said.

He said challenges of the job include working long hours and keeping the crew engaged and focused.

"I need them to remember what we're doing and the good we're doing and seeing the results. Sometimes the results are more long term, and you don't see them right away. We are working toward a goal and that goal is getting closer," Bloom said. "It's definitely been a unique opportunity. It's awesome to see in the Coast Guard how our mission's stateside experience lend very well to working over here and providing professional experience to the group over here. It's really been an enjoyable experience so far."