Guest post: The end or just a beginning?
Posted by LT Dave French, Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It’s about a special moment in time every enlisted member remembers, and every retiree never forgets. The Oath of Enlistment ceremony.
Here’s Petty Officer Blackwell’s story:
“When one scuttle closes, another one opens. Such is the case in the Lajavic family.
Today Anna Lajavic, a recent graduate from Amherst Steele High School in Lorain, Ohio, enlisted into the Coast Guard. However, this wasn’t just any enlistment. Her father, soon-to-retire Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Donald Lajavic was the officer who presided over the ceremony.
July 31st will be the last time Lt. Cmdr. Lajavic, of the Ninth District Prevention staff, will wear a Coast Guard uniform. Come August, he retires after 28 years serving his country. Then, just a month will pass after the retirement before his daughter begins her Coast Guard journey at Training Center Cape May, N.J.
(Left: Lt. Cmdr Don Lajavic, Ninth District Prevention staff, swears his daughter Anna into the Coast Guard during a ceremony held at the Cleveland Military Entrance Processing Station July 21. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Brandon Blackwell, Ninth District Public Affairs.)
However, today’s Oath of Enlistment ceremony will be an important date in both of their careers.
‘I feel very proud right now,’ said Anna with a never-ending grin. ‘It’s really touching to have my father swear me in.’
Anna said graduating high school was a big wake up call. Her parents encouraged her to get a job, so she decided to become a Guardian. Having a father in Coast Guard blue helped her decision.
‘I influenced her 100-percent,’ said Lt. Cmdr. Lajavic, unable to control his laugh. ‘She’s been considering this for about a year.’
Anna is considering her Coast Guard future, but right now her focus is rightly on basic training.
‘I’m excited to get it over with,’ said Anna sharply.
(Right: The Lajavic family celebrates the end of one Coast Guard career with the beginning of another. Lt. Cmdr. Don Lajavic marked the end of his 28-year career by swearing his daughter Anna into the service July 21 at the Cleveland Military Entrance Processing Station. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Brandon Blackwell, Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs)
Many families share a military tradition. From generation to generation, sons and daughters follow in their mother’s and father’s footsteps. In this case, Lajavic not only brought her into his immediate family, but he also brought her into his extended Coast Guard family.
‘It was awesome to be able to do that,’ said Lt. Cmdr. Lajavic. ‘Now the next generation can take over.’”