Last night my roommate began packing her suitcase, cleaning our room, and feverishly talking to friends at home about plans over Thanksgiving break. For her, this five day break will be the first time home in 100 days and one of the few times a year she’ll be with her parents. Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated breaks at the Academy because cadets go home to their families – for me, it is a brief trip to remember the family I came from and appreciate my Coast Guard family here.
To drive home from the Academy I have to take a left out of the main gate, a left at the stoplight, follow the Boston Post Road, and take four more turns through my neighborhood. The entire trip takes about seven minutes, making me the closest 3/c cadet to our school. At first I liked this, the informality of going home, seeing my cousins around town when on liberty. But this year with the independence of being a third class, I have realized that close proximity makes it more difficult to transition into my new family. I have been very fortunate to make many friends at the Academy and am thankful that I am well liked, despite my compulsive organization and outbursts when my favorite teams have a bad game. Somehow, through all of the demands and obstacles, I have managed to have a close group of friends. These “shipmates” as the Commandant, Admiral Papp, would call them, are the only reason cadets graduate: shipmates are always my inspiration and motivation. Before leaving for break myself I created a list of the five gifts I am most thankful for. Of course “little shipmates”, my Coast Guard family, is at the top. I am thankful for 1) shipmates, 2) freedom, 3) laughter, 4) two successful shoulder surgeries, and 5) chocolate.
More about Sarah.