20 years ago I remember putting my Son on a flight to Juneau, Alaska.
He was 19 and a new graduate from the United States Coast Guard Boot Camp.
Although I knew it was the best decision he could make, I had no idea
he was in for the duration.
I remember standing at the airport crying like a baby as I watched the airplane carry him away from me. It was bitter sweet to say the least.
But as a mom, I'll always remember Tom as a sweet 9yr old full of questions with a never ending love for life and adventure.
Today Tom is an Officer. They call him
"Lieutenant Tom Pauser"
He works for Homeland Security and inspects the incoming ships that carry goods from foreign lands as they come into the ports of America.
During his early years with the Coast Guard he was one of the guys who jumped out of the Choppers to rescue people from the water and ice packed mountains of the Alaskan wilderness.
He was so good at his job, the Coast Guard gave him the cover shot of their magazine.
It said, "If your in need of saving, this is the man to call"
Later in his career he chose to attend OCS and did a second stint in boot camp to become an officer. The graduating class took the "USCG Eagle" from it's home port in Connecticut, to Spain. Here he is climbing one of the masts during his final exercise. I remember his telling me "That sailing, was a thrill of a lifetime".
USCG Baroque Eagle
Here is Tom sitting at his desk, in the Command Center. As a mom I can see in his eyes that he is happy with his decision to make the Coat Guard his career.
Although Tom can retire now at the age of 39 he chose to sign up for another 5 years. He, along with his wife and daughter, now live in the icy, snowy, windy city of Juneau, Alaska. They could not be happier!
He told me "Mom if I retire now, what will I do with my life"
My heart is filled with pride and joy for my boy and I would like to say,
Congratulations to you Tom for a job well done!