Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Seaman Sharon Hedstrom, U.S. Coast Guard

My daughter is no longer mine. Or her mother's. She now belongs to the U.S. Coast Guard.

She enlisted yesterday and this morning they shipped her out. She is now at Coast Guard Recruit Training in Cape May, NJ.

This last Saturday was spent moving all her belongings back home. She may have moved out almost three years ago, but she made regular visits back home (especially when she was hungry and broke - students are known for that). Sunday evening was a going away party for her. Yesterday was the enlisting formality, administered by our old friend John Morgan (no, it's not much of a web site) and the usual last physical and administrative stuff. She brought her car back over here and surrendered her cell phone (wrenching moment).

It wasn't until we dropped her off at the hotel (all recruits stay together the two days before boot camp) that she realized she was finally leaving home. It wasn't easy for her.

I'm very proud of my girl. She's smart and strong and independent; the Coast Guard is about to be forever changed. I look forward to seeing her in uniform wearing seaman stripes, just like me when I graduated from boot camp so very long ago.

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