Sandra Coast: Middle-Aged Soldier Completes Army Basic Training At 51 Years OldFeb-23-2012
Army Sgt. Sandra Coast graduated from Basic Combat Training here Feb. 17, officially beginning her Army career at 51 years old.
The average age for an Army Reserve recruit is about 23, making Coast one of the oldest people to go through basic combat training, U.S. Army Recruiting Command officials said.
"Everybody in the world thinks I am a total nutcase," Coast said. "I just want to support our troops. I love all of them."
From 1982 to 1993, Coast devoted her life to the Navy. She gave up her lifestyle as a sailor to raise her son, Jeff, who ironically led her back to the military she left behind years ago.
"When Jeff graduated high school, he joined the Marine Corps. When I was at the recruiter's office with my son, I walked into the Army recruiting office and said 'I want to join,'" Coast said. Her previous years of military service allowed her to join the Army Reserve well past the age someone without prior service could join, she explained.
For as long as she can remember, Coast said, she has had a special place in her heart for troops and a hunger to serve.
"I have a friend in the Navy that was emailing me from Afghanistan," she said. "It's his third combat tour in seven years. I don't know, I can't explain it. I just had this overwhelming desire to give back to the military somehow. I was doing the same job day after day after day. I can't live my life that way. There is more to life than this, so I ended up in basic training."
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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM
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