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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Thanksgiving Away From Home

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo The Coast Guard Academy is a wonderfully diverse collection of people. We have cadets studying here who hail not only from all corners of the United States, but from the globe as well! Unfortunately, that geographic dispersion can make one week of leave in particular a challenge for cadets from faraway places: Thanksgiving. In this month of the Military Family, that pain of being separated from your family, especially during a holiday that is traditionally revered as a celebration of such, is heightened a little bit more. The reality is that many cadets don’t get to travel home for Thanksgiving, simply because they live too far away. And speaking from experience, it is tough to imagine your family sharing that time without you there.

 

And yet, if you were to walk through the halls of Chase during the Thanksgiving holiday, you would hear the cacophonies and chaos of… silence. Not a cadet to be seen. If I’ve just been talking about all of these cadets who can’t go home, why isn’t Chase filled with their presence on that fourth Thursday? Simple. It’s because the military family that we are celebrating this month takes a unique form in the lives of cadets. In fact, you could venture to say a cadet has multiple military families: our own families, then those who have adopted us and care for us over the four years we study here.

 

One example of that latter is the Crabtree family. Carl and Christy are the field leaders for the Officer’s Christian Fellowship chapter at the Academy; and during Thanksgiving, they embrace numerous cadets as part of their own family at their home, Shepherd’s Fold. The house is designed to be a retreat center for OCF, and as such can welcome a plethora of cadets at any time of the year; weekends, holidays, summer trainings. Thanksgiving is a particularly lively time for the household. In the past, Carl and Christy have hosted international cadets from such countries as Rwanda and Honduras, and other cadets whose distance from home precludes travelling back to their families. I’m always amazed at the love they show for all of us here. When I asked Carl about opening up his house, he told me, “My wife and I enjoy the privilege of mentoring cadets and giving them a home away from home. Each Thanksgiving we are blessed to have some cadets that do not journey home.” Read that again: blessed. If you want to talk about a loving adoptive military family…there you have it. It’s incredible to see how close these adoptive families grow to us, and how easily they assume a special spot in your own heart. Lives change because of our adoptive families. I am forever grateful for the love and support of my family back home; but in addition, I realize I’m extremely blessed to have met the families who take me and my classmates under their wings when my parents aren’t right there; people who, just by letting me into their house, have become people I trust and care about. I think Carl hits the nail on the head: “We adopt them for the week and some of those relationships last a lifetime.”

 

More about Abby.

 

A Busy Second Class Year

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018) Permanent link
H. Eshleman Photo Second class year has begun and the whirlwind of activities and events occurring at the USCGA is just getting started. This semester, I have 18 credit hours, but all except for four are finally engineering focused. I am really enjoying getting to concentrate on my major in McAllister Hall (the engineering building) for the majority of the day and learning about thermodynamics, fluid systems, naval architecture, and electrical circuits and machines. The workload is heavy, but I am interested in everything I am learning about, which makes it all worthwhile. My one class not in McAllister Hall is Maritime Watch Officer (a.k.a. Nautical Science III). I’m enjoying this class as well because it is extremely fleet-applicable and soon our labs are going to be moved from the simulators to T-boats down at waterfront.

 

Besides a lot of homework, my schedule has been busy with Glee Club. We have 30 performances this semester alone. Today we got the honor of performing God Bless America and America the Beautiful down at City Pier in New London. This performance was for a 9/11 memorial service held by the Groton Submarine Base. Getting to interact with a lot of Navy active and retired personnel, local police, and civilians on this day helped remind me how great our country is and how we truly come together, especially in times of need.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Looking Forward, Living in the Moment

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Well, it’s 238 days until graduation! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by this semester—it’s almost October. I am looking forward to the changing seasons, New England cider, sweater weather, and foliage here at the CGA.

 

This semester I am finally taking electives, including Managerial Psychology, Negotiations and Conflict Management, and Information Technology in Organizations. Soon, we will be receiving our capstone projects for the management major, which is another milestone toward graduation. Commissioning physical exams, final papers, capstone, it’s all coming together here, and before we know it, we will be ensigns! Having said that, it is still important to live in the moment and enjoy the rest of the Academy—this is the last time that our class will be together all at once.

 

Lately, I’ve been getting involved in my local church off-base, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I am participating in bible study on Monday nights, and meeting with the Navy Chaplain across the river that is the same denomination as me. I sure do miss Chaplain Dickens, but I’m still learning more about the Christian faith and United Methodist polity through my local church. I can definitely see myself becoming a part of the local United Methodist church regardless of where I go next year.

 

I’m also taking Advanced Golf for my physical education elective, and I golf a couple of times per week. Golf is a game that you can never master, but it is certainly great to be outside with friends enjoying the New England fall weather. If anything, it has taught me patience and persistence. It’s finally becoming real for me, graduating that is, and it is unbelievable that the shopping list, or list of ensign assignments, will be available in November. This is when the Class of 2017 puts down our choice assignments, and right now I’m thinking of a fast response cutter on the East Coast.

 

More about William.

 

Fourth Class Experiences

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Sukcha Photo It has been a while since my first post. There are exactly two more weeks left before I leave for summer leave. I am truly excited as I will be spending my entire summer break with two of my very close friends in Clearwater, Florida.

 

There are many things that I have done and experienced throughout my year as a fourth class at the Academy. Let’s start with the Pistol Team. In my first year on the team, I have traveled to quite a few places including West Point, New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Fort Benning, Georgia. It was a lot of fun to compete with the top teams in the nation. Fortunately, with the help of my friends and coaches, both military and civilian, I made it to the Pistol National Collegiate Championship.

 

In addition to pistol, I have also traveled with the Academy’s Glee Club. I am truly happy to be a part of this wonderful group of young, talented vocalists. We traveled a lot to entertain people throughout the country. I was lucky to be a part of a few performances in New York City and Quincy, Massachusetts.

 

And in my whole life, I had never yet experienced a snow day. It was fantastic playing in the snow. (View my photo gallery to see the fun pictures!)

 

During the holidays, I am not able to return to Malaysia due to the expense of the flights. However, I have wonderful friends who invite me to their houses. So far, I have been to Maryland, Virginia and soon to Florida. I will keep travelling whenever I have chance to see more of what the world can offer.

 

More about Saranjoe.

One Busy Month

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo The end of April is approaching and what a month it has been. April began with my 21st birthday. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity on my 21st to sing the national anthem at the U.S. women’s soccer game against Colombia in Hartford, Connecticut. It was an amazing experience. Being right there on the field next to these women and all of their fans that look up to them so much was inspiring. Glee Club has provided me with a lot of great opportunities, but this was definitely one of my favorites. We also got to sing at a dinner at the New York City Athletic Club last week. Every weekend thus far in April has been jam-packed with activities. Between lacrosse, glee, and two formals, it has been quite an eventful month.

 

Third class formal was the second weekend in April. Our Link in the Chain class, the Class of 1968, donated their rings to be melted and put into our rings for next year. We had a wonderful ceremony and got to see a video that was composed of pictures of both their class and ours during our times at the Academy. It was really neat to see how times had changed, but yet how there are many similarities due to the decades of tradition here at the CGA. Ring Dance was just as fantastic of a night. The ballroom as decorated with beautiful veils across the ceiling and the 2/c cadets had the chance to dip their rings in water from all over the world. Getting to see the 2/c get their rings as a mark of their progress through the Academy made me extremely excited for next year and finally becoming an upper-class. Overall, April has been busy and exciting, and with transition into the warm weather, I cannot wait to see what summer training brings!

 

More about Hannah.