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Q&A with Amanda Paustian ’02 - US Coast Guard

Every life I contributed to saving was memorable. You can’t even put that into a tangible value.”

Any memorable moments to share during your time with the Coast guard? Every life I contributed to saving was memorable. You can’t even put that into a tangible value. Being the last voice someone hears is an honor and huge responsibility. Boot Camp was the best experience of my life.

What are you doing now?
After my career-ending injuries, I’m a stay-at-home mom and a full-time college student. I’m majoring in communications and hope to do public affairs from the civilian side. I volunteer with Wounded Warriors, Team Rubicon, and Las Positas Student Veterans Organization.

Any words of advice for students/alumnae considering joining the military?
I wish someone had told me that Military Academies were an option for college. There is a huge need for women officers in all branches of the military, especially with the caliber of education you obtained at Carondelet. There are stories about the military being a “good ol’ boys club” and in 2021 more women are changing that narrative and frankly the world.

When did you know you wanted to go into the military?
Honestly, I had never given it much thought. I went to Sonoma State University right after graduation and decided on a whim that I wanted more out of life and joined the Coast Guard (being a swimmer influenced that choice) My Dad is my hero, and he is a Navy Veteran. It was such a cool experience when he pinned on my rank after graduation.

Any other thoughts or experiences as a woman in the coast guard?
It’s a pretty cool feeling breaking the stereotypes put on soldiers and sailors being a woman.

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