Interview with Arlene, mother of Coast Guard veteran, Part 5 of 5
From - UM Libraries on July 15th, 2019
Arlene is originally from Connecticut and moved to Miami as a young adult. She met her husband in 1966, had 2 daughters and adopted an 8 month old boy. He was difficult as a child and at age 17, he enlisted in the Coast Guard. He was assigned to Cape May, New Jersey for basic training and then to Alabama to a helicopter rescue division. While on duty, he injured his shoulder and was flown to a military hospital in Houston, Texas for surgery. He had been given pain medications and became addicted but did complete 10 years in the Coast Guard and was honorably discharged at 27. Unfortunately, soon after, he died from an overdose. Arlene expresses that she has mixed feelings about the military as it did offer her son direction and structure during his service, and disappointed that the military did not take responsibility to monitor his pain medications. As a result of her experiences, Arlene volunteers for the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program.