War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Coast Guard
Unit: USCGC Aquidneck (WPB 1309); USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336); USCGC Storis (WMEC 38)
Service Location: Manama, Bahrain; Khawr Abd Allah River; Al Faw Peninsula; Khawr Al Amaya; Mina Al Baker Oil Terminals; Kodiak, Alaska; Hilo, Hawaii; Washington, DC; Yorktown, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina
Lieutenant Commander Holly Harrison is the first woman in the United States Coast Guard to earn the Bronze Star. In charge of the 110 ft. cutter Aquidneck during Operation Iraqi Freedom, she and her small crew patrolled the Khawr Abd Allah waterway separating Iraq and Kuwait. In addition to providing protection and assistance to other US vessels, they searched and boarded everything on the river to ensure that embargoed oil, terrorists, or weapons were not getting through. This was all the while navigating waters that were poorly charted, often treacherously shallow, and frequently mined. Harrison became executive officer of the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy after her return from the Persian Gulf.
We honor you, Holly Harrison.