Mike Page

“I woke up, and my marriage wasn’t working, I wanted to go back into the service. I was hungover, sitting at my desk as an inventory control clerk at NC State. I heard an advertisement about the Coast Guard on the radio. Picked up the phone, called them, two weeks later I was gone.

Drug busts, chasing bad guys, arresting bad guys on boats. That kind of stuff. Times where I thought I was dead — I’ve had many/ I lived in the Bahamas for two years. My job was drug interdiction under the Reagan administration. So we were down there, and we had two flight crews. We flew with DEA agents and the Bahamian strike force. A lot of Miami Vice crap. And I was in the middle of it — very exciting.

I quit because I was young and stupid at the time. I was getting ready to get transferred from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Mobile, Alabama, which I didn’t want to go [to]. And I was going through another divorce, and I said, ‘Well maybe it’s time for me to get out.’ so I got out. I said, ‘Damn, if I’d had stayed in another eight years, I’d be retired from that and be in much better shape.’ But that’s hindsight.

That was one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t follow through with that. Because I went from having an extremely, extremely exciting fulfilled life to working in a hardware store making eight dollars an hour. Bored. It went from wild to a brick wall. And the good thing is, now I am retired at 62. And I work here part time, and everything is very good.”