Spending weeks, even months, apart from someone you love is hard to do. Spouses of those on board the Coast Guard cutter Diligence are used to it but Thursday, that time apart came to an end. It was hard to contain the excitement as young children spotted the Coast Guard cutter Diligence making its way up the Cape Fear River. “As Joshua has grown, he becomes more and more aware as Daddy goes away, but also more excited when Daddy comes home,” said Kate Fears who was welcoming her husband back home. Plenty of hugs and kisses greet the members of the Coast Guard as they arrive, and for some families there will be no more goodbyes. This was the last patrol for many members of the Diligence. Chief Petty Officer Dan Murray is transferring to the Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Station. “It's amazing, both our sons born while I’ve been assigned here so I’ve actually been at sea and away from them for more of their life than I’ve been at home with them, so I’m really looking forward to being full-time dad, full-time husband and spending more time with the family,” Murray said. “I’m thrilled; a day job, great hours and no more saying good-bye,” said his wife Bridget Murray. Others are going from one coast to the other. Petty Officer Vincent Bluthenthal is packing up his family and moving to Port Angeles, Washington. “Both my sons were born on the East Coast and never had opportunity to see West Coast or see mountains, should get kick out of that.” During this mission, the crew sailed the Caribbean to counter drug operations. They also docked in Barbados to repair the Hope Sanctuary, an animal shelter for neglected and abused animals.
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