Station Menemsha honors departing bosun’s mate

Nicholas Gonsalves listens as members of station Menemsha say kind words about his time at the station as he prepares to leave to attend further schooling. — Caroline Brehman

Bosun’s mate third class Nicholas Gonsalves was honored by his peers and superior officers outside Station Menemsha Wednesday morning. Gonsalves is headed to A-School in Yorktown, Virginia, to become a machinery technician or MK after three years of duty in Chilmark.

Gonsalves and his fellow Coasties passed around a plaque engraved to recognize his time at the station. As each held it, they reflected on serving with Gonsalves. Many thanked him for mentoring them and lauded the development of his skills and leadership. They all wished him well in his next Coast Guard experience.

“I see a lot of things that I would aspire to be as a bosun’s mate, myself, [in] you,” bosun’s mate third class Justus Christopher said.

“You’re humble enough to take advice, smart enough to take advice, and you do great things with it,” Chief Robert Parent said.

“You’ve had a huge impact here and we’re grateful for your efforts,” Master Chief Robert Riemer, commander of the station, said.

Gonsalves thanked his colleagues.  

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without this crew,” Gonsalves said. “I’m going to miss you guys a lot. You guys are my second family.”

In addition to the plaque, his commanding officers presented (which Chief Parent said the whole station will sign) Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla commander Glenn DeBlase, vice-commander Joe Berini, and staff, officer Wayne Iacono presented Gonsalves with a certificate of appreciation.

“It’s going to be bittersweet to leave,” Gonsalves told The Times Thursday. Born on the Vineyard, Gonsalves later moved to the Cape, where his wife Kaila and two-year-old daughter will stay until September when school wraps up. He and Kaila are expecting a new baby shortly, he said.

Once school is over, he isn’t sure where he’ll be assigned but he hopes to land on a cutter. He described cutter cycles as good rotations for his family and and the work aboard an endless opportunity for learning.

And there’s being on the ocean, too.

“In order to grow, you have to adventure and see things,” he said.