Reservist

ISS1 2015

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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The Honorable Samuel A. Nunn, Jr., former United States Senator from Georgia and a former member of the Coast Guard Reserve, was among three veterans to receive the United States Navy Memorial's 2014 Loan Sailor Award during a gala event held at the National Museum Building, Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. The Loan Sailor Award is presented to a veteran of each of the sea services "who in their chosen careers have distinguished themselves and who continue to exemplify the core values of HONOR, COURAGE and COMMITMENT from their early service in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard." Nunn was joined by awardees Mr. James A. Skinner, former Vice Chairman and CEO of McDonald's and Navy veteran and Mr. Robert J. Stevens, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and a Marine Corps veteran. Prior to the award presentations, the Reservist had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Senator Nunn. Senator, thank you for taking the time to speak with us this evening about your time as a member of the Coast Guard. If you don't mind, let's start with what prompted you to join in the first place? My dad was very sick at the time, this was 1959, and we were living in Perry, Georgia about a hundred miles south of Atlanta. Dad had a law practice and a farm but his health was failing. I came to realize the clock was ticking and I was going to have to help out and possibly take over for him very soon. At the time I was in my third year at Georgia Tech studying law. This was back in the days of the draft. And everything that was going on painted a picture that I was going to serve in some capacity, but I needed to get it accelerated so I could help out at home if needed. I managed to join the Coast Guard and go right in after my junior year at Georgia Tech. I was able to enlist in the active Coast Guard for six months which I spent at the training center in Cape May, N.J. Then I served in the Reserve for about seven years. After finishing my time at Cape May, I was able to get into the second semester at Emory Law School and graduated with my degree about two years later. Again, for me it was about getting everything done as quickly as possible so I could help out back home. Six months is a long time at recruit training. What do you recall about your time at Cape May? Actually, my boot camp was three months and then I remained there as a member of what they called the "permanent party" for another three months. Overall, my experience at Cape May was absolutely terrific. I really enjoyed it. I even liked boot camp. I learned a lot. I was surprised how much classroom time there was. I had expected it to be all outside with lots of running around and push-ups. But what I found instead was a real learning experience. As part of the permanent party I taught the obstacle course and swimming to the new recruits. I also played on the Coast Guard basketball team. So, again, my experience at Cape May was excellent. I loved it. Do you happen to remember your recruit company number? No, afraid I do not. But I do remember our two instructors, Mr. Emms and Chief Gibson. Once you left Cape May where did you perform your Reserve duty? The first two years were at a joint Navy Reserve and Coast Guard ReseRvist Magazine one on one saM nUnn interview by Jef smith Photo by Telfair Brown, Coast Guard Public Affairs 30 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2015

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