Videos: Today's Military
    Coast Guard

    Making a Difference(02:51)

    After attending college, Seaman Recruit Annie Nguyen realized that she might prefer serving her country, and the Coast Guard offered the kind of job experiences she wanted.

    The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and under the Navy during wartime. Not only are they responsible for protecting the nation’s waterways, but they also assist with search and rescue, antiterrorism operations, law enforcement, drug busts and environmental cleanup.

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Seaman Recruit Annie Nguyen: My name is Annie Nguyen. I am from Marietta, Ga. I'm 19. I graduated from James County High School up in Carnesville, Ga. I've been working a lot, and I did go to college for a little bit, found out it wasn't for me. I guess it's just because I've been in school pretty much my entire life, and sitting in a class for an hour and a half listening to a lecture about something that I read in a book, it just didn't appeal to me, I guess. I felt like I wasn't doing anything with my life. I've been traveling a lot, so I guess I just wanted to stay somewhere close to home in a way, and I wanted to do something with my life.

So I looked up the Coast Guard and found it interesting. I actually looked on the Coast Guard website, and then I looked at all the news and everything like that and I found it really appealing. I guess it's just an experience that most people want to do but can't, and all that. I wanted to make a difference. It makes me feel pretty great to know that the GI Bill will help me with money costs and everything like that. I don't have to worry about getting into debt, pretty much, with financial aid.

I actually emailed my recruiter, and then he called my cell phone because I left it in the email, and then we just started talking about it. He asked me a bunch of questions, and then we set up an appointment for me to come in at 10:00 in the morning — and that was rough because at the time I was just, like, sleeping in a lot. I got set up to take the ASVAB that day, and then I found out my score, which was a 70, and I was kind of shocked at first because I didn't know if that was good or bad. So I started freaking out. He told me that it was okay. It was better than normal. This entire week, I am booked. Like, I don't know if I'm actually going to be able to sleep, if I'm going to be able to spend more time with my family or anything like that. I am completely booked because I still have to work. I hear that it's really stressful at first. I can deal with stress. I've dealt with it my entire life, so it really doesn't bug me that much. I think I'm going to go into this with a calm head, just seeing how tough the Coast Guard really is.