Taking the Plunge for Education

Coast Guard wife follows dream of becoming a nurse

A myth used to exist around the military community; at first, I heard whispers of this rumor but then some more seasoned spouses flat out told me I was crazy to believe spouses could pursue their dreams. Yet, the current generation of military spouses have chosen to reject those claims; in fact, spouse after spouse has broken the “dependent ceiling” and entered into roles of entrepreneur, lawyer, doctor, career professional, or college graduate. No is not a word in our vocabulary. Not war nor lengthy separations have been able to hold us back, and frequent moving has just made us better at learning the tricks to establish ourselves at a new duty station.

Coast Guard wife Brooke Gonzales is a shining example of this; she and her family just got stationed in Clearwater, Florida over the summer. Before the cardboard boxes were fully emptied, Brooke met with an advisor for the challenging RN program of St. Petersburg College. Her mission was to finally take the steps towards the career she always aspired to have, but she also wanted to be in a position to contribute to her family’s income. Brooke shared her greatest concern, “It’s always in the back of my mind that if something was to happen to my husband, he is our sole provider. If he gets injured and has to retire how will I be able to support our family with no degree? As a wife, you never want to think about something happening, but at the same time I have to be prepared to support my family.”

Plus, with so many unknowns being tossed around about military benefits and retirement on the horizon in 5 years, now was the best time for Brooke to tackle that dream sheet she had created years ago. “We need something to fall back on if he is not able to stay past twenty years,” Brooke said.

In addition to working with the advisor at the school, Brooke explained that two of the most helpful resources for knowing how to get started with school was the Coast Guard Education Department on base and doing research on the internet to find scholarships. “I am so excited to be starting this journey and can’t wait to work in a maternity ward empowering and supporting laboring/ post-partum mommies and their babies. I know having my family, friends and military family supporting me I can’t go wrong.”

For a checklist to help you take the plunge for your educational goals, visit our link at: Getting Started Checklist


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