By Karen Billing
Rancho Santa Fe Village Preschool student Kayden Storm had a surprise waiting for her when she came in from the playground on March 14: Her father, Trent, who had been away on a seven-week deployment with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Trent was part of the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, which returned to San Diego on March 14 after a patrol conducting frontline maritime drug interdiction.
Fresh from his deployment, Trent perched expectantly on a chair in the corner of the classroom waiting for Kayden to come in with a flood of other youngsters. As soon as she passed the door frame she spotted him and with a shout of “Daddy!” rushed into his arms for a hug.
Kayden is the granddaughter of Sue and Gordon Bartow, longtime Rancho Santa Fe residents. Kayden’s mom, Michelle, grew up in Rancho Santa Fe and attended the Village Preschool herself, and the family now lives in San Elijo Hills.
In addition to their counter drug mission, the Sherman crew was able to assist in a search and rescue operation in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. A fishing vessel had become stranded with a cracked water tank, more than five days away from a home port and the Sherman crew assisted the fisherman with food and water for their journey home.
At one of the Sherman’s port calls in Costa Rica, the crew also participated in some community relations, playing in a soccer game against the Costa Rican Coast Guard. The crew gave away new soccer balls to local children.
Village Preschool teachers explained to the other students why Kayden’s father had been away and they all gave him a round of applause. Kayden didn’t clap — she remained happily wrapped up in her father’s arms.