Ask anyone here and they will tell you that yes, the Academy is challenging. The fourth class here, including myself, have been working hard since last June. Whether we were running everywhere during Swab Summer, figuring out how classes are run here, studying for Boards, and taking the trash out, we have been on the move for almost a year. To be honest, we are tired. Tired of doing all these things and stand at the bottom of the food chain. We are almost done with our first year and we are excited about summer because it will be our first real opportunity at spending time in the operational Coast Guard. And with this excitement and boredom of our duties here at the Academy, I think we have all forgotten why we are here; I know I did – until recently.
After the tragic event that has recently occurred in Boston, I took the time to remember why exactly I came to the Academy. It reminded me that I came here to protect the people of the United States. I want to make a change in the world. I am sure that most of my shipmates feel the same that I do. We all joined the Coast Guard to make a difference and to protect the United States.
This time a few years ago, I didn’t know what I wanted in life. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a doctor, or a lawyer or possibly a teacher. The hardest decision in my life up to this point was choosing the Academy. It took a while to convince myself that I wanted to be a cadet. But once I realized the opportunities I would have to help others, I knew I had to come here. Now that I am at the Academy, I am proud to say I go here and that I am a member of the United States Coast Guard. Even more importantly I am proud to be an American. Each and every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner, chills run through my body, I want nothing more than to protect the people of America. I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
More about Kayla.