Since coming here at the end of May, I have learned many interesting and surprising things about Virginia Beach and this building specifically. Growing up in Georgia meant that big parts of Virginia’s history and culture were mysteries to me until I spent some time living and working here. The most surprising thing I have discovered is the importance of the Coast Guard, both in terms of their heroic work and their impact on the local community.

My hometown is not a military community by any means, so coming to Virginia Beach, which has multiple bases nearby, was quite a different experience. The significance of the Coast Guard has been especially evident working in this building, which served as a Coast Guard station from 1915 until 1969. I truly had no idea what the Coast Guard did or how they operated before I came here. I also had little knowledge of their long history and was only familiar with their modern role from what I saw on television or in movies. 

Over the past few months, I have been immersed in Coast Guard history through photos, videos, and stories. I have also had the honor of meeting many Coasties, both active and retired, as well as lots of their family members. Many of them have shared their interesting service stories with me. It has been a real eye-opener to understand the great role the Coast Guard plays in this community, and I look forward to learning even more about these amazing men and women before the summer is over!