I can't say enough positive things about the professional and personal touch displayed by the Coast Guard and the USCGA in regards to my DS's opportunity to attend this SA and join this branch of service. There have been several little things that really start to add up. A New Year greeting email from a coach; an email from a Phd professor in the Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering department; emails and phone calls from CGA alumni; and continued communication and coordination with his AO. The "wow" for my son came when he received a call from the 5th District Commander, RADM Steven H. Ratti to arrange for a visit to Portsmouth, VA and/or Elizabeth City, NC to visit and experience these CG operations. That really charged him up. I believe that overnight visits to West Point and New London in late February or early March will be the final part of the evaluation process. These are two great academies with different, yet equally important service missions. Tough choice for him. I've heard many folks refer to the CG and CGA as being part of a family. I can definitely feel that, even as a parent, just from AIM and the application process. I can only hope that my DS truly appreciates the wonderful opportunities that await him. And I especially hope that he will live up to the high expectations and standards set by all those who have gone before him in service to our great country.