By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 5 Apr 2024

MARCH VETERAN OF THE MONTH

The Match veteran of the month is Paul Plourde from Windsor, California. Paul was introduced to military life at a young age since his father was in the U.S. Air Force. He and his family moved every four to six years. His first six years of life were spent living in Florida, then he was in Holland for four years, attended elementary school in Hawaii, and when he entered high school, he was back in Florida.

At age 24, he joined the US Coast Guard, knowing he would be stationed near the ocean. This would be helpful to him since the end goal was to become a marine science technician. After joining the Coast Guard, his basic training was in Cape May, New Jersey. When choosing his MOS, the wait list for marine science technicians was too long, so he decided to go with Information Systems Technicianbecause it would be beneficial even after he got out.

Paul’s time on the Coast Guard gave him the opportunity to travel to many unusual places, taught him life skills, and gave him moments to be proud of. For basic training, he was in Cape May, New Jersey, then during his Nortel Networks training in Georgia and Texas; lastly, his work orders gave him the chance to travel to Maui and Kauai for work tickets. Along with travel, his time in the Coast Guardalso gave him something to be proud of. Finishing two months of boot camp and six months of Information System Technician School was his proudest achievement. Through the months of training and learning to become a good active-duty member, he learned that attention to detail is a skill that would stick with him throughout life and continue to be useful after he got out. He was Honorably discharged on October 13th, 2009, as an E-5.

The most emotional part of his time in the service was a rescue he took part in on Kodiak Island, Alaska. They received a May Day call from a 14-year-old boy’s uncle that his nephew had fallen overboard. They helped to look for him for roughly an hour. He was found tied to a crab trap that took him under the water. They were responsible for bringing his body out of the water and back to land.

One thing that Paul wanted to share was the importance of mental health when it comes to veterans. He stated that twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day. This is a good reminder to check in on loved ones and ensure they are doing well and receiving the proper help and support they need.

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