On Friday, President Joe Biden spoke personally to Coast Guard Lt. Commander Christopher Hooper and Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Zach Loesch to thank the two men for their daring rescue operations during the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Florida.
Biden called the two Coasties to personally thank them for the heroic work that they and their Coast Guard colleagues have performed during search and rescue operations in response to Hurricane Ian.
“The President thanked them for saving lives and asked for a report on the work that continues to rescue Floridians. He also asked if they needed any additional support that he can provide to accelerate successful rescues; they indicated they have gotten what they need to execute their vital mission,” the White House said in a statement on Friday.
Loesch’s time rescuing those in need may soon be coming to an end as he’s one of the people in the U.S. armed services facing termination for not being vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus. Under Biden’s vaccination mandate, he may face discharge within the next 30 to 60 days.
“At the President’s direction, dozens of Coast Guard helicopters and rescue boats were pre-deployed to support Federal, state, and local search and rescue operations as part of an unprecedented interagency Search and Rescue Coordination Group led by FEMA,” the White House said in a statement, “As of today, their work has saved hundreds of lives. The role of the U.S. Coast Guard was particularly notable in driving those efforts. Up to 16 Coast Guard aircraft have been in the air in search of survivors in need of help since daybreak yesterday, rescuing over 100 people along the southwest Florida coast.”
According to the Coast Guard, Loesch kicked through a wall in order to free a disabled woman and her husband caught in the floodwaters of Ian. He was also credited with saving multiple pets from flooded homes.
Loesch later spoke about his impending discharged and said he took the high ground during his call with the President.
“It just sucks that he thanked me yet the vaccine mandate is what’s kicking me out,” he said today. “I just love my job and I’m really good at it. It sucks. I feel like this is the job that I was born to do.”