Giving Thanks for a Life-Changing Adventure—And More

The author standing in the parking lot at the Coast Guard Station in Neah Bay, Washington
Damage Controlman 3rd Class Lee Crockett at the Coast Guard Station in Neah Bay, Washington, in 1977. His mission was primarily search-and-rescue operations, mainly of stranded fishermen.

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for one simple act that set my life’s course.

Shortly after high school graduation, I picked up an issue of National Geographic magazine with a story about the Coast Guard. I read about dramatic rescues at sea, about making the Mississippi River safe for ships and barges, and about ships that broke ice to clear a channel into a U.S. base in Antarctica.

It all seemed so glamorous and exciting that the very next day I headed to the local recruiting office. My parents were away on vacation; by the time they returned from their trip, I was signed up for the Coast Guard. Imagine my mother’s shock when she learned that I had made a major life decision based on reading a magazine article.

She calmed down—eventually—and I took to the sea, sometimes sailing for weeks at a time. On these journeys I fell in love with the ocean. I discovered its raw power, the depth of its beauty, and the mysteries of its creatures. And I learned that the sea —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *