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Unexpected Summer Fun

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Carol Yin This entry is long overdue but my normal pace of life at the Academy is finally starting to seem like routine all over again. The last time I wrote, I was a 4/c reveling in the fact that I had just been granted carry on. Now I’m a 3/c getting into major specific courses, acting like a normal person in the p-ways, and having six weeks of experience in the fleet. What a big difference one year makes!

The summer did not work out as I had originally planned because the cutter I was supposed to go on did not have enough female berthing. I found out that I would be reporting to CG Station Gulfport instead of USCGC Bertholf the weekend I returned to the U.S. after Eagle. At first I was extremely disappointed because I already mentally prepared myself for more cold weather since Bertholf was performing an Arctic fisheries patrol. I was also upset that I would not be able to go to Hawaii and experience its beautiful beaches and unique way of life. But, the next thing I knew, I was on a plane with my best friend to good ole’ Gulfport, Mississippi.

Gulfport was not what I expected. I was not excited about hot weather and being at a station for six weeks; however, Gulfport was a blessing from Heaven. Besides the intense heat and constant sweating, I had the time of my life at the station. I even ate fried gator for the first time! I was able to see my family and hang out in Mobile, Alabama for a weekend. My classmate, Rebecca, and I drove the station’s 41’ UTB to Mobile for servicing. I was also able to go to the beach everyday because of its proximity to the station, and meet some of the nicest people in my life. At the station, I qualified in Communications Watchstander and stood my own watches guarding the radios and answering phone calls. I also worked toward Boat Crew. But, the most memorable thing I did at the station was get OC sprayed (pepper spray). Now this is something I do not wish upon anyone. Let’s just say that OC feels like bobbing for apples in a French fry fryer.

Shadowing a junior enlisted member this summer, I learned to have a greater appreciation for the junior enlisted and all of their hard work. Without their efforts, the Coast Guard (in my humble opinion) could not function at any level. The enlisted are why the Coast Guard runs smoothly and effectively.

I hope to carry the lessons I learned over the summer to the school year and beyond. Thanks for reading and good luck to those applying for colleges!

More about Carol.