Coaldale will honor its veterans on Sunday, May 27 with ceremonies held at the Memorial Garden on Third Street and at the Seek memorial.

The Seek ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., with the Memorial Garden observance at 2:30 p.m. The services are sponsored by the Coaldale United Veterans Organization.

The ceremonies will feature Coaldale native and retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain John G. Busavage as the main speaker. Busavage will talk about the role of the US Coast Guard during the Vietnam War, during national emergencies, and in conflicts in the Middle East and other places in the world. He'll also talk about the responsibilities of the Coast Guard in protecting the nation's ports and seafaring citizens, and in responding to environmental issues and emergencies.

Busavage served in the Coast Guard for 23 years, retiring in 1992. His principal assignments were as Captain-of-the Port at key U.S. port facilities, and as Federal On Scene Coordinator and Director of the Coast Guard Crisis Center for several major oil and hazardous material spills and other national emergencies. Busavage represented the Coast Guard in congressional hearings and as liaison in interagency hearings, councils, and advisory groups. He interfaced with public agencies regarding environmental and crisis issues, and conducted conferences and public hearings on environmental issues around the country.

Earlier in his career, Busavage taught at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, commanded a search and rescue cutter, and commanded a patrol boat in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, where he earned numerous awards including the Bronze Star with Combat V, and Presidential Unit Citation.

Since retiring from, Busavage has assisted government and commercial clients in the implementation of state-of-art financial analysis and reporting systems, as well as information systems. He has also applied his strong background in Instructional Systems development and Computer-Based Training to solve customer problems. He has applied his extensive knowledge and experience in environmental protection and remediation in meeting both government and private industry customer needs. Busavage joined APEX Inc. in 1996 as a Senior Systems Engineer and Vice President. He was responsible for the development and management of data base projects for the U.S. Treasury Department and for the Department of Homeland Security. He has managed the systems engineering aspects of heritage systems conversion to modern state-of-the-art technology and current software technology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and others.

Busavage earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Marine Engineering from the U.S .Coast Guard Academy, a Masters Degree in Physics and a Master's Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Connecticut, and an MBA in Operations Research/Management from the University of Cincinnati.

Busavage is a native of Coaldale and a 1962 graduate of Coaldale High School. He grew up on West Phillips Street, next door to the Saint John's Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church, which the family attended. His father operated a barber shop on a part-time basis in the home and was well known to Coaldale residents. Busavage married Jane Mallets, of neighboring Lansford, and they have lived in northern Virginia for the last 24 years. They have two children and six grandchildren.