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If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
 Victoria Gurtler The past four months at the Academy have undeniably been the most challenging, stressful, demanding, and exhilarating months of my life. I have pushed myself beyond limits and exceeded expectations that I literally never thought imaginable. These four months have been about proving myself to my shipmates, cadre, upperclassmen, and professors. But the most important individual I have proved myself to was Victoria. This time last year, I was in the Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area pageant and singing in the Wisconsin High School State Honors Choir. My life has done a complete 360, and I have to say I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Swab Summer was a once in a lifetime experience. Very few ever really get the opportunity to be indoctrinated into the military and in that way. To me, Swab Summer is still a blur. I can vaguely remember the challenging IT (intensive training) sessions, much less the terror of Reporting-In Day. What resonates most strongly in my memory are the fun times – yes believe it or not, you will have fun during Swab Summer, but you have to earn it. The main objective of Swab Summer is to “break” you as a civilian and rebuild you as military personnel. Trust me, you will fail at times, but that is why you have shipmates to catch you when you fall. I would have not made it through this summer or to midterms without the support of my peers. That is one of the great aspects of the Academy. Everyone wants everyone to succeed.

I have been keeping very busy since the start of the school year. Academics take up most of my time. But my classmates, professors, and upperclassmen are always willing to help with studying. Basketball started up a couple weeks ago. We had a scrimmage last weekend and won by about twenty points – a strong start to the season. My coach, Captain Gaines, is very supportive and is always pushing us to exceed expectations. Likewise, my teammates are a lot of fun to be around and work with.

Musically, I have been singing more here then I ever did in high school. I am in the Glee Club, Catholic Choir, and in the all-female choral group called “Fairwinds.” I have already sang at the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation Dinner in NYC, Arlington National Cemetery, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Dinner and Ball in honor of Admiral Robert Papp Jr. in NYC (where I sang solo the National Anthem), and at a Connecticut Sun WNBA game. This weekend a 2/c and I are singing the National Anthem for the November 6th Patriots vs. the NY Giants NFL game. Even though I am a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan, I am so excited about this opportunity! There should only be about 68,000+ fans there – no pressure, right?!

I really cannot believe everything I have experienced and accomplished thus far at the Academy. I worked very hard during high school and am working four times as hard here. I know that all of my efforts will be worth it. After all, if it was easy then everyone would do it.

Till next time,
4/c Victoria Gurtler

More about Victoria.