Holly Shaffner served on active duty in the United States Coast Guard for over 24 years as both enlisted and an officer. She retired in 2011 and during her military career she was attached to operational, training and staff assignments, including serving more than eight years aboard various size ships. As an Enlisted Coast Guardsman, she worked in entry level jobs and attended technical school in which she was trained to calibrate the electronics for, and fire shipboard large caliber weapons systems.
After graduation from Officer Candidate School, she completed two tours aboard ships maneuvering a 378-foot ship in the Bering Sea, and interdicting drug traffickers and illegal migrants throughout the Caribbean. She had several staff and operational assignments and completed her career in the search and rescue field running a 24/7/365 emergency operations center.
She was fortunate to be part of several national level events including the Haitian repatriation of 1994, base security force duty and training over 200 Coast Guard Reservists after 9/11 and second in command of a seventy-four person Coast Guard anti-terrorism team, a unit that was one of the first responders to the citizens of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
After retiring from the military, Holly attended San Diego State University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Post-graduation, she was hired to be the Director of Events and Public Relations at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park and then served as Military Liaison Officer at San Diego State University. She currently owns her own Public Relations Consulting business.
Holly stays busy volunteering in the local veteran community. She is the Director of Public Relations for Honor Flight San Diego, Board Member for the San Diego Veterans Coalition, Coast Guard City Advisory Committee Member, and volunteers with several other military causes. She is also a contributing writer for San Diego Veterans Magazine. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys traveling, playing golf, watching baseball, and hanging out with friends.