For a long time I was told that the USCG was stupid and for soft people who hate fighting, and for a long time, I believed it. That is, until I met a homeless man who was sitting alone on a park bench wearing a Retired Coast Guard hat. I went up to the man and asked him how he was and all that stuff, then I asked him about his experiences in the Coast Guard, and what he told me completely changed how I see the USCG, and ultimately, changed my destiny. The man told me the most amazing stories, from bootcamp to how he loved it so much he served until he hit the age limit. His stories of high seas search and rescue missions in dangerous waters and storms, his tales of arresting human traffickers and freeing hundreds of poor Honduran girls to be sold, his stories of seizing $6 million worth of pure cocaine, and his stories of getting into firefights with drug traffickers, even taking a bullet through his clavicle completely enthralled me. I learned that the coast guard Bootcamp is one of the hardest, learned how the USCG actually does stuff for us here at home, and even learned that they get deployed overseas too. Everything everyone told me about the Coast Guard crumbled with every word he spoke. I gave him a fifty and told him to take care of himself. As soon as I arrived at my home I conducted research on the Coast Guard, and I was even more blown away. The USCG saves an average of 10 lives a day, the USCG has fought in every single war this country has fought, the USCG has saved countless lives in the streets by preventing overdoses by seizing cocaine, the Coasties are tough as nails, and more people should know. The Coast Guard doesn't have enough recognition. They save more lives then any other branch of the military, because yes, the Coast Guard are trained to be warriors, but also to protect people. What does all of this have to do with me, you may be asking. Well, after all this, I have concluded that the Coast Guard is my calling, helping people, saving lives, fighting, and conducting the enforcement of maritime law, so I am applying to the United States Coast Guard Academy tommorow, where hopefully I will graduate an officer. And if I dont get accepted I will enlist, because the Coast Guard is tough as nails, and that's where I belong. Saving lives. Protecting my home. Enforcing the law. This is why the Coast Guard deserves more recognition. People view it as the navy's little cousin, but really, it should be viewed as one of the most respected things you can do for this country. I hope that I changed some of your thinking, and I highly encourage all of you to do your own research. I wish I could remember the veterans name, but I pray for you.