‘Why I serve:’ Seaman Recruit Tevin White

By Seaman Recruit T. A. White 450x266_q75[1]
Editor’s Note: This blog entry was written by Seaman Recruit Tevin A. White during Week 07 of basic training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May. White graduated with Recruit Company Kilo 188 July 26, 2013, and will be assigned to Norfolk State University, Va., where he will complete his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies as part of the Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative. After he graduates, White will attend Coast Guard Officer Candidate School at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

The United States military has been a part of my life ever since I was born outside the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Growing up with a mother as a Senior Chief in the Navy and a father, a Chief, in the Navy, I didn’t have a choice when it came to being proper, clean, and doing the right thing. Moving from place to place around the United States, led me to become a well-rounded individual. I found a home in New Orleans when my family got orders there in 2000. I’ve been so used to moving and change, so finally finding a place I could grow up in, was a rejoicing moment as a young kid.

It wasn’t until my family and I had to move again in the summer of 2005 that the moving pains came back again. Just a month later, the place I came to love was hit by one of the worst storms in history – Hurricane Katrina. The move that I thought was a curse turned out to be a blessing. Had it not been for the military and the timing of my parents orders who knows where we would be now.

During the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina, I learned about the valiant search and rescue missions of the United States Coast Guard. Night after night and day after day, I watched on TV as the Coast Guard went out in the storm and wreckage to save people they didn’t even know. It became even more real when I started noticing places of New Orleans that I had been to and seen, which were now a total disaster. As a child, seeing people on roofs desperately waving up at the helicopters and believing they were going to be alright, made me see the great power and hope this organization brings.

As I grew older, I focused my life on sports and wanted to stray away from the military life. I eventually went to college to play sports instead of joining the military right out of high school like my parents. It wasn’t until my second year in school that I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was still undecided and didn’t see a promising life for myself after school. Then I discovered the Coast Guard CSPI program, which offered college students to become enlisted non-rates while attending school and receive a spot in Officer Candidate School upon graduating college.

After learning about the program and wasting no time contacting a recruiter, I was accepted into it. I then became a full believer that everything happens for a reason. I learned the grass isn’t always greener on the other side; its greener where you water it. I made the best of my situation and now I’m my way to a promising career as a member in the United States Coast Guard. With a week of boot camp left, I am now a part of something bigger than myself and have a sense of pride within myself that I never got from sports. With a long summer behind me and a bright future ahead of me, I can’t wait to join the fleet and serve my country. Semper Paratus.

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