U.S. Air Force veteran William Steffens, of Petoskey, next to his wife, B.J. Steffens, and surrounded by family members as well as other attendees, salutes Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City during a recognition ceremony for him. In 1952, Steffens designed an emblem for the Air Rescue Service and entered it in a contest. He never knew until February that it had become the serviceâ€™s official patch and is still used by the USAF Pararescue - an elite lifesaving unit that rescues downed and injured pilots in austere and dangerous places. Steffens joined the military in 1943 at age 18. He served from 1943 to 1953 during World War II, Korean War and Cold War as soldier, bombardier and radar technician. The patch combines an angel wrapping its wings protectively around the globe and the motto â€œThat Others May Live.â€ Steffens, who later taught school for many years, learned about the patchâ€™s existence while watching a National Geographic show about helicopters. More than 150 people, including Steffens six children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and several local officials attended the ceremony.
Air StationUnited States Coast GuardWilliam Steffens20131017kk03