Petty Officer Third Class James “Ryan” Gay
U.S. Navy, Veteran
My time in the Navy has to date been the most memorable. As a parachute rigger, I had an important but less physically demanding job, so it left open opportunities for an ample amount of “cross training.” My junior enlisted years were spent helping other shops performing maintenance on different aircraft.
The one cruise I did aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) afforded me the opportunity to see many countries abroad that I probably would not have gotten to see otherwise. I spent time in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Also, being from Texas, I got to live the majority of my enlistment in southern California, which was pretty awesome. I also spent some time in Pensacola, Florida for school.
Joining the Navy was the best decision I ever made. It took me from a lost high school kid to a man with direction when I got out. I forged many long-lasting friendships with my “brothers” and had the opportunity to finish my bachelor’s degree with the GI Bill and am now finishing my masters in Marine Resource Management at Texas A&M University. I could not have accomplished all of this without the foundation I gained while serving.