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U.S. Coast Guard A B Seas

Unites Young Hearts and Minds Through Maritime Tales

Having a 3-year-old child to whom he read every night, Capt. John Fitzgerald, USCG (ret.) noticed a lack of U.S. Coast Guard themed children’s picture books as well as a lack of those that appealed to parents. It was then that he started to consider writing his own book that both children and parents could enjoy and find educational. John landed on the idea of a U.S. Coast Guard ABC book but finding an illustrator who could capture the essence of the Service proved to be difficult.

After a one-year search, the USCG lived up to its “small world, small Coast Guard” label by connecting John, a 1987 Academy graduate, with Audrey Gaynier, a 2017 Academy graduate and avid artist. In recent years, Audrey combined her love of the Coast Guard with her passion for painting and created her very own chart art business (Instagram: @chartart_byaud). While she was sitting at her desk as a Lieutenant at the U.S. Coast Guard Project Resident Office Gulf Coast, John’s email landed in her inbox. 

Subject line: Possible Project. It was in this email that John detailed his idea and the need for a Coast Guard artist to assist in writing and illustrating a children’s book that kids would love but adults would also enjoy reading. Audrey quickly accepted the offer excited to develop her art in a different medium and over the next two years, illustrated the book page by page in her free time. 

John and Audrey touched base weekly over the phone to make revisions and ultimately created “U.S. Coast Guard A B Seas.” Finally published on March 17, 2024 it is a 44- page picture book that depicts many aspects of life in the Coast Guard letter by letter. 

The colorfully detailed illustrations keep kids engaged while grown-ups also learn interesting facts about America’s smallest branch of the armed services. In just one week, U.S. Coast Guard A B Seas has sold hundreds of copies and has received nothing but 5-star reviews. You can get your copy today from Amazon.

Meet the Author

Capt. John Fitzgerald, USCG (ret.) graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1987 and served on active duty for 25 years. In 1996, John also received his master’s in mass communications from Boston University.

As a permanent cutterman, he served on four ships: MIDGETT, HAMILTON, LEGARE and commanded the 210-foot cutter CONFIDENCE. 

His other tours of duty included Commanding Officer of LORAN Station Kure Island, Hawaii; Press Secretary to the Commandant of the Coast Guard; Atlantic Area / Fifth District Public Affairs Officer and the Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Meet the Author/Illustrator

Audrey Gaynier is a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Following graduation, she served on board cutter DECISIVE as the Damage Control Assistant. She was then assigned to the Project Residence Office Gulf Coast, in support of the National Security Cutter Construction program. She now lives in Mobile, AL where she works on the USCG Offshore Patrol Cutter construction program. 

A talented artist, Audrey has combined her love of the Coast Guard with her passion for painting, thus creating her chart art business; Chart Art By Aud.

Instagram: @chartart_byaud

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