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That's Why I'm Here

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Julie Kane Over break, as I told my high school friends stories about swab summer and Academy life, some of them thought I was crazy. “Why on earth did you go there?,” they asked me. And I have to admit, sometimes being here is not that great. Like on Friday night, we were getting ready for a formal room and wing inspection and a few other cadets and I were cleaning the laundry room. As I shined the floor drain at midnight, I wondered what some of my friends at civilian colleges were doing right then, and I highly doubt that they were cleaning any laundry rooms. But all of the hard work is worth it, because I can sincerely say that there is nowhere else I would rather be.

At other prestigious universities, you might be pushed academically, but nowhere else will you be challenged in so many ways or have so many responsibilities. Here at the Academy you are expected to work hard in your classes and earn good grades, give your all on the athletic field and stay in good shape, make sure your uniform, room, and the common spaces of Chase Hall always look good, understand and memorize information and procedures that you’ll need later in the fleet, help your shipmates out whenever they need it, and above all maintain your honor and integrity.

When my friends ask me why I came here, I think of a time in November when I was out on liberty and stopped by a grocery store. As I walked out of the store, I saw a man and a little boy who was probably five or six years old. I passed them in the parking lot and the man nudged the boy and said, “Go ahead, say it. ” The little boy saluted me and said, “Thanks for serving our country.” I was overcome with pride to be wearing the Coast Guard uniform and also with a tremendous feeling of responsibility. My friends at civilian colleges have a responsibility to themselves, their family, and their teachers to work hard, but I have made a promise to the American people. They trust that I will be a good Coast Guard officer. That I am capable of rescuing mariners in distress in extreme conditions, preventing oils spills, maintaining our aids to navigation, and stopping illegal drugs from entering our country. So far I haven’t done anything significant, but the trust of the American people and the trust of the men and women that I will someday lead is what motivates me to learn and to work hard. On May 16, 2013 when I receive my commission, I will be ready to do important things, and that is why I’m here.

As always, feel free to email me at Julia.T.Kane@uscga.edu.

More about Julie.