Hello everyone! My last blog was from August, so time to catch up! After I left summer school, I returned back to the amazing city of Jacksonville, Florida to enjoy my summer leave. Being the over-ambitious cadet that I was in May, I had asked the Cadet Training Department to have the opportunity to work at Station Mayport near my house. So the Monday after I got home, I reported at bright and early at 0700 in my operational uniform to get to work. The first few days were a little slow and awkward but then I was introduced to the Reserves Detachment located at the station and my training began hard! The third day I was at the station, I had the opportunity to “drive” the 25-foot patrol boat and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. After growing up by the St. Johns River and going fishing and boating on it, the rush of being on a Coast Guard small boat brought back many memories of my childhood. I had always remembered looking at the Station Mayport and thinking of how amazing it would be to work for the Coast Guard. Finally, part one of my dreams came true. I also had the (horrible) opportunity to get pepper-sprayed. Let me just say it was the worst hour of my life. I’ll let all of the YouTube videos out there show you pretty much what my experience was. While there, I did not work all the time, as it may seem, and I did enjoy quality time with my parents and friends! I cannot wait to see them when I return home in December.
After reporting back to the Academy on August 18 (my birthday; thank you CGA), it was amazing to look around and take in Chase Hall. It was also very strange being called sir…something I still have not become accustom to. After “set-up” week the academics struck, and let me say they struck hard. Having 21 credits is not fun…at all. I am usually working on homework into the wee hours of the night. I am struggling in some classes, but I have great friends and professors that are determined to see me succeed. I have now run my 2nd Tough Mudder and other than that have not really gotten away from the Academy. However, in the coming weeks I plan on going to New York City, I will be serving at the Red, White and Blue Mass being celebrated by the Archbishop of the Military Archdiocese and the Bishop of Norwich, and some other adventures that I will right about later to keep you in suspense. Until next time, fair winds and following seas, Go Bears and Go Great Class of 2016!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate! Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu
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