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    Coast Guard

    A New Recruit(02:53)

    Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon talks about the enlistment process and his thoughts on joining the Military before he ships off to Coast Guard Recruit Training. Boon, who prepared both mentally and physically for boot camp and received advice on joining from retired service members, plans to use the GI Bill to further his education after serving.

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Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon: Well, my name's Cliff Boon. I'm originally from Munroe, North Carolina. I grew up there my whole life. Got a mom, dad, little sister. I graduated from Porter Ridge, class of '08.

It's kind of mixed emotions right now. I'm a little nervous, but more anxious to get there, and kind of get it going and get it over with. I don't think I'm going to have too many problems, I hope I don't. I think I'm in all right shape for it. So we'll just have to see how it goes. I'm just mostly ready just to get there, and get it going, get it started.

I've been running a lot, and going to the gym for the most part. Just trying to run so I don't die the first week or two. I've been reading up on the 11 commands I'm supposed to -- I've been trying to memorize them, but it's been kind of hard since I've been out of school for a while to kind of focus on anything, so I'm going to get them memorized before I go.

One of my uncles has told me it's a lot of mind games, that I should be [focused] on the physical part. I just need to keep my mouth shut, look straight ahead. I gave -- I went to college for a semester, and that didn't work out as well as I thought it would. And my dad always had told me about it, and told me about it, and told me to check it out, and I did, and that sounded good, so I went on the internet and just read as much as I could about it.

And then I came to the career day, and that's why I'm signed up and everything. I just, I talked to a couple of people at -- actually in it, and have retired from it. And they all said that it was great, so. As far as my experience, they were all helpful. They always had an answer for me if I knew the question. I don't think the Coast Guard does too much trying to pull people in. They were pretty much straightforward with me, and told me this is what is expected, this is what you need to have. Told me exact things I needed to get. What I need to do to get prepared for boot camp, that kind of stuff.

My family saw it as great. They thought it was going to be a good experience. I think for me right now, the Coast Guard's going to be fun. I like being on the water, and being at the beach and stuff.

So, I do want to use the GI Bill. I want to go back to college, get my degree. I might keep an open mind with it as far as making it a career. If I get in there and I really enjoy it, and it's something I want to do, I'll stick with it.

My name is Cliff Boon. I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina. I leave for boot camp June 23rd, and you can come follow me for the next eight weeks. I leave here in Charlotte a little boy, and I'll come back a man.