Sir, as a former Coaste we always had little money/equipment/staff, etc. but the mission never slowed down. After Vietnam we had 60 winter coats for 160 shipmates on our winter Alaska patrol (ALPAT) we were unable to find uniform shoes within the two weeks between multiple 3 month deployments. The Captain said wear what ever you can get your hands on. We were going on a month patrol with out any toilet paper. So we did what any red blooded Coaste would do - - we stole it. Navy and Air Force bases have the best supplies. Army not so much. Marine bases were fun to steal from but they had less sometimes than we did so we left them alone. We had the oldest ships/aircraft/weapons and did good service with them. Not that I think this should be so, but it has been so. I was happy that the CG left the DOT but it seems again going to be the Red Haired Step child when the money runs out. It seems some things never change.
But at least your son will be ready for a career in politics or banking..
As to 40 year old cutters, The, still in service, CGC Acushnet was built in 1944 (now 66 years young) by the Basalt Rock Company (always loved the thought of a ship built by a rock company - makes you feel that it will float well........:-). When the hull rusted thru we took chewing gum (well chewed) and stuffed it in the hole, let dry for a couple days then scrape off the excess and paint with several coats of paint -- was good for a couple patrols. You did not go past standard rudder because the rudder would stick. If this happened in the ship channel you would be in the channel then thru the mud then back in the channel (as we went in a circle) then back in the mud until you got it un-stuck. But were at sea 300 days that year and repairs were, well - - done later...
Sir I do not wish to make light of your sons situation but you need to go to a higher pay grade than on a veterans board to get some money allocated. There is a long standing tradition of less is more in the CG. At least in my experence.