Letters from the Front! By LTJG Crystal Escalante
By LTJG Crystal Escalante
U.S. Coast Guard
Hola mi familia! We all have personal experiences that have molded us into who we are today; those experiences are what make us who we are. You can achieve your dreams and become successful despite any challenges you face; all it takes is believing in yourself, never giving up, and staying focused. Each day you wake up is a new day to change your life and set a new course to accomplish your dreams. You are in charge of your life and you hold the keys to your success. I hope my story will inspire you to achieve your dreams and never stop believing.
My name is Crystal Escalante, I am an active-duty military officer serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, since 2004. I have a beautiful four-year-old daughter and a supportive husband. I joined the Coast Guard to serve our Great Nation and to use the service as a stepping stone to acquire life experience, new skills, and education. My decision to join the service was easy since I didn’t have a place to call “home”. My upbringing was unorthodox in comparison to the Hispanic culture of togetherness and family.
My two brothers and I were placed in foster care when I was nine years old. I had to
overcome tremendous adversity growing up. I realized at a young age that no one was going to do anything for me, I had to do it myself. After I graduated high school, I attended the Daytona Beach Police Academy and graduated with hopes of becoming a police officer. Since I was 19 years old, a minority, and had limited experience, I was unable to acquire a job. Exploring other options, I was most attracted to the Coast Guard because it offered me the opportunity to gain law enforcement experience, life experience, and the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. After applying, I was accepted and sent to boot camp within a month. For the first time in my life, I felt empowered and blessed to be part of a family, the Coast Guard family. I also reconnected with my biological family as I continued to serve in the military.
Life is never easy; there will always be challenges that arise and situations that test your judgement, dedication, and faith, but the key is, Never Give Up! When you give your all and commit yourself to excellence, positive things will happen. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my perseverance, faith, and ambition.
Joining the Coast Guard was the best decision I could have ever made. The service gave me stability, opportunities, leadership, and the ability to earn a B.A. in Intelligence Studies, while working shift work. I was selected and graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS). After graduating OCS, I was assigned to Morgan City Louisiana where I now serve as a Coast Guard Marine Inspector. I love sharing my story with others so they can be inspired to concur their individual goals and dreams. Nunca Renunciar!