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cadet blogs

Great to be a Senior

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrellt Photo It has been a busy, but GREAT start to the year! I finished up the summer at home in sunny Florida and then I was on my way (in my car) back to the Academy. It is great to be a senior, to have a car, to have liberty on Thursday nights, and to hold a leadership role within the corps. I already know this year will be the best year yet! Classes started yesterday so it was a lot of organizing and planning skills to get off on the right foot. I had previously had or met most of my teachers so it wasn’t a huge deal to start school. Although, I do know how the fourth class feel because that was me on my first day three years ago.

 

Last weekend I went to southern Maine with a group of girlfriends and we stayed at my friend’s house. It was a short trip, but I had so much fun! We went to watch Keelan Donovan sing and play the guitar with MamaDear then we explored Portland. We also walked on the beautiful beach and ate a great home cooked meal! It was a great first weekend back with all of my friends. This weekend is Labor Day so the corps will have Monday off and a group of girls and myself are off to hike Mount Washington in New Hampshire! The most hiking I have done was in Hawaii so we will see how this nine-mile hike goes...I might need some encouraging words from my friends half way up! Either way it will be an adventure and I can’t wait.

 

Of course I am staying focused on my studies and trust me the homework has already started. Lots of readings to do before bed so I should probably start that!

 

I hope everyone has a great start to the year and you hit the ground running with schoolwork and sports, but don’t forget to take some time to relax and enjoy the moment (it goes by faster than you think) I am always available for questions at Sara.E.Cantrell@uscga.edu.

 

More about Sara.

 

Returning Home

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Corbett Photo It was a long 142 days to be away from home. Then again I am only from Philly so I don’t have much room to talk as there are cadets from Alaska and other faraway lands. As I ventured out this summer, I kept track of what I needed to do to finally arrive home. I started my journey in Milwaukee. A small station, but a great station. I drove 45-foot and 25-foot boats that could zoom through the water and slice through waves at speeds upwards of 50 mph. (45 knots for those who are nautical.) I saved a life. I lifeguarded for four years in high school and had pulled struggling swimmers to the side, but this was different. A man’s life depended on the training I had. The “wealth” of knowledge one could accumulate in a whole year being in the Coast Guard. I sat in the radio room and answered the call and I sent out our boats with our crew. Everyone knew their position and there I was the rookie, calm, collected and managing the pickup of a 52 year old man who fell into the Milwaukee river system. I did my job and a man’s life was saved.

 

I was pepper sprayed…yes military-grade pepper sprayed, voluntarily. Probably one of the worst experiences of my life, but it was something that needed to be done. There is oh so little room to expand on all stories so I will leave this one to another day.

 

I left the station in high spirits and boarded the CGC Eagle. I knew Eagle was the last part of my trip. I sailed from Miami through awful weather, long midnight watches, and trainings on trainings, until we reached Nova Scotia. Two port calls down and few more to go. Then came Newfoundland, where I scaled coastal cliffs and jumped into iceberg-filled water, and then NYC where I would see my family for the first time in several months. One port call left. I scaled 15 stories in whipping winds and rain aboard the tall ship Eagle. It was the job that needed to be done and another step closer to that goal. Eyes on the prize and I just kept my thoughts toward that last sight of land.

 

The shores of Bourne, Massachusetts came in sight and I knew my summer was coming to an end. As I disembarked, I looked back on the summer with friends and I came to a conclusion that can best be expressed in the quote, “No one ever said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.” I stepped out of my father’s car and onto the beaches of Jersey where I spent my summers growing up, and where this leave would be spent. The sand lit up beneath my feet as my weight squeezed the water out. I ignored the scientific reason and preferred to think that sand was welcoming me home. As if I was royalty returning back to my land after a long journey.

 

More about Shane.