I was born and raised in Southern California in the 1980s. My brothers, sister, and I were fortunate to spend most of our childhood outdoors. We grew up near the beaches of Malibu and Ventura County, which inspired my love of the ocean. I was always into sports and was recruited to play golf in college. That eventually led me to the East Coast, where I transferred to College of the Holy Cross, my dad’s and grandfather’s alma mater.
Holy Cross did not have a women’s golf team, and I was looking for another activity or experience that would challenge me. Growing up, I was captivated by my father’s recollections of his days in the Coast Guard, how defining his time in the service had been. Many an evening he would break out his slide projector and walk us through his missions to the Arctic and Antarctic and his participation in the first Operation Deep Freeze in the mid-1950s on board the USCGC Eastwind (WAGB-279). He brought to life the important work of the Coast Guard—how different it was from the other services and how it never really gained the recognition it deserved.