Rodeo, Western stars visit Port Angeles Coast Guard station
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
Annie Bianco-Ellett, Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association World Champion Cowgirl, left, and Maegan Ridley, 2009 Miss Rodeo America, right, rope Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon Schweiger during a USO-Wrangler National Patriot Tour visit to Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles on Wednesday.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The USO-Wrangler National Patriot Tour brought some of the biggest names in rodeo to the Port Angeles Coast Guard station Wednesday.

The visit to Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles provided a relaxing day in the sun for about 50 Coast Guard personnel.

Visiting were Kaycee Feild, reigning National Finals Rodeo bareback-riding world champion; Annie Bianco-Ellett, who is the reigning world champion cowgirl for the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association; Maegan Ridley, 2009 Miss Rodeo America; and Lucas Hoge, a Nashville, Tenn., country music singer-songwriter.

After the rodeo and Western music stars took a tour of the station, there was a 2-mile fun run, a barbecue, roping demonstrations and music.

During the picnic, Bianco-Ellett and Ridley provided roping demonstrations, using Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon Schweiger as their target.

Schweiger, selected because he was scheduled to depart for a transfer today, laughed through the demonstration.

“It was nice that they took the time to come all the way out here,” he said.

Part of 10-day tour

The 10-day annual tour is traveling up the coast from Washington to Alaska, visiting isolated Coast Guard bases that rarely get visitors, said Jeff Chadwick, director of special events for Wrangler, a Western clothing maker.

The tour is sponsored by the USO and organized by Wrangler, Chadwick said.

This is the fifth year of the tour, he said.

Each year, the tour selects a different service and visits places where other shows have not visited, including rural bases in the U.S., as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, he said.

Hoge, who provided music during the picnic lunch, described a visit to a remote Afghanistan base, where there was no microphone stand available for the concert.

“One of the soldiers took his rifle, taped my microphone to it and held it the whole time. It was the best microphone stand ever,” he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 21. 2014 6:05PM
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