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Sunday is Veterans Day in the United States and I wanted to share two stories, one about Coca-Cola and one about a veteran who is very special to me. Readers of our blog will know how The Coca-Cola Company responded to a request from General Eisenhower to set up bottling plants to provide Coca-Cola to the Allied Troops in North Africa. Our Chairman, Robert Woodruff took that request and then committed that every soldier should be able to get a Coke for a nickel regardless of where they were stationed. The Company went to extraordinary effort to construct 64 bottling plants around the world to keep that pledge.
One of the sailors who served during WWII was my father-in-law, Joseph T. Brogan.  Joe Brogan joined the Coast Guard after graduating from Roman Catholic High in Philadelphia in 1942.  As an 18 year old inductee, he was assigned to serve on the USS Charlotte (PF-60.)  Even though the Charlotte was a Naval ship, it was crewed by the Coast Guard. Joe was with the Charlotte as she did her shakedown and inaugural voyage beginning in January of 1943. The Charlotte was stationed in the North Atlantic and did duty as a Patrol Frigate in those frigid waters. 


Joe Brogan

She also did weather station duty gathering meteorological data to track the eastward flowing storms. Last weekend, I took my sons to visit Joe and asked him to share some of the stories on board the ship.  He has a beautiful book that is filled with photographs that he showed the kids. While he was telling his stories, I asked if they had Coca-Cola on board.  “You bet we did,” was the answer.  He even joked that while the ship was stationed in the North Atlantic there was plenty of ice!
As a member of what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Generation,” Joe served his country for four years on board the Charlotte and formed bonds that have lasted a lifetime.  He has attended several of the crew reunions and still keeps in touch with some of his old friends.


Joe Brogan

After the war, Joe returned to Philadelphia to resume his interrupted college education at Villanova University where he graduated in 1950.  The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus! Always Prepared! And this Veterans Day, I want to thank a veteran who has always been prepared to serve his country and share time with his family. Thanks Joe! ^TR