Videos: Today's Military
    Coast Guard

    Recruits Brace for Boot Camp(02:55)

    Before heading off to boot camp, Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel and Seaman Recruit Carey North discuss their reasons for joining the Coast Guard.

    The Coast Guard offers a range of benefits, from job stability to money for college. Active-duty members also receive free health and dental insurance.

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Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel: I'm Heather Bevel. I'm 27 years old, grew up in Warrington, Va. And I've been friends with Carey North here for, man, I would say sophomore year we met, but we didn't really become friends until we started working together and then just kind of went from there. With the economy changing and going down the hill a little bit, I lost my job in a layoff. I was like, "Look, I'm joining the Coast Guard. I know you've talked about doing it for years. It's now or never. Let's do it."

Seaman Recruit Carey North: I'm Carey North. I was born in Rota, Spain, to military parents, and I moved to Virginia. I think we moved when I was in first grade. And we've talked about the Coast Guard numerous times. Her sister's in the Coast Guard as well, so it's been something that we've thought about on and off. And again, like she said, you know, the economy kind of fell through for her. I'm working at a restaurant. I work at a golf club. I have nothing tying me down. So it was kind of like, "Let's go ahead and do this."

Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel: I think I was a little nervous, there's a lot of unknown that we're getting ready to step into. And coming from someone who knows my next three or four steps before I take them, it's a little nerve-racking. A little nervous, very excited, very grateful and honored, too.

Seaman Recruit Carey North: With the buddy system, I think it makes it a lot easier because you have some sort of support system. You're not walking into this by yourself. You know somebody going. You're probably not going to even have a chance to talk to them, I mean, I don't know what exactly to expect in boot camp. I imagine we're not going to have, you know, sit down and girl talk at all. You know, but at least you have somebody there that kind of feels your pain and knows what you're going through and you know you can commiserate with at the end of the day.

Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel: A little peace of mind having someone there that you've known for so long.

Seaman Recruit Carey North: I don't want to cry. That's my biggest concern is that company commander's going to be right here in my face, and I'm going to start shedding tears. That's, I mean, physically it's going to be hard. I think I can do it. I know I can do it. Mentally, it's going to be difficult, but we can do it. That, I mean, it sounds silly, but that's one of my biggest concerns is I just don't want to break down while I'm there. But I'm excited for it. I think it's going to be really good for both of us.

Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel: I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm kind of looking forward to the physical aspect of it. I'm not sure why. Maybe just because there'll be a challenge, so I'm looking forward to that. Like I said before, I'm a little nervous about the unknown, so you know, I don't know exactly what it's going to be all about. So I'm a little nervous about that. Sometimes I get frazzled when people are yelling and screaming, so I'm a little bit worried about how I'll react to that. But, yeah, definitely excited, ready for it.

Seaman Recruit Carey North: I'm Carey.

Seaman Recruit Heather Bevel: I'm Heather.

Seaman Recruit Carey North: And you can follow us going through Coast Guard boot camp over the next eight weeks.