From Marine Corps to sailing full-time!
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
We often get questions about Jeremiah’s service and how we ended up cruising full-time once he finished up his 22 year career as a Marine, I received yet another question about it and thought it’d be a great post!
First, let us wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! We’re so happy to have you as a part of our lives!
Jeremiah joined the Marines in August of 1994 and left for Parris Island, SC in October of 1994 where he went through Recruit Training. Afterwards he was stationed in Washington D.C. He originally was a motor transport operator (Drove Humvees) until he found himself wanting a bit more. So he submitted a request for what’s called a lateral move (change of job). The request was approved in 1996 and he left the Motor “T” field to be an F/A-18 engine and fuel systems mechanic. He was an F/A-18 mechanic and Plane Captain (see photo above of him performing a launch of an VMFA-232 aircraft and one of him while in Afghanistan) for the rest of his career, he loved it.
His last few years on active duty was spent at Marine Corps Base Quantico overseeing the training for the entire Marine Corps F/A-18 training fleet. A position that was held by one guy out of the entire Marine Corps, so that was really neat, it can really set you up for a future job because it’s at such a high level. Although he didn’t really enjoy it. It involved meetings all day, making decisions about how the F/A-18 fleet would be trained and such…Sitting at a computer in a cubicle wasn’t his cup of tea. He’d always been out on the flight line with action all around him. He’s an outdoors kind of guy.
During his time at Quantico he knew retirement was coming. He’d see people retire and then return to the same job 5 days later just in civilian clothing. While the position was amazing for getting a foot in the door for a high level position after retirement, it didn’t really interest him. He wanted something different.
Over his 22 years in the Corps, he traveled all over the world. He saw amazing places and not so amazing places. One thing he always talked about was how even if the spot was great, he never felt as if he could really enjoy it because his family wasn’t there with him. I mean, he had the Marine family, but you know…He felt like he didn’t get to truly enjoy all the places he had been. He loved to travel, that got him thinking.
At night, during his time at Quantico, he started to research ways to travel the world with family but doing so cheaply. He found Distant Shores which was a TV show following a couple that had been sailing the world for years. He was intrigued. He kept looking and then he found Delos…Now, Delos caught the entire family’s attention. This was when they were in the P.I. It looked awesome! We quickly got hooked and would have weekly Delos nights with the family. That’s when the planning began.
Like most, we had accumulated debt over the years and needed a certain level of income to survive. So we formed a plan and started working that debt off. We went through some extremes but it was good because it worked and it showed the kids how to live frugally. We all learned that we didn’t need fancy stuff, like cable TV and eating out to be happy. We look back on those as some of our happiest times and we weren’t doing much other than being with our family.
The time came, Jeremiah retired and we moved to Florida. While in Florida we kept on with selling our belongings by holding yard sales and we started the search for the boat. We also were waiting for two other things…One, Jeremiah’s pension to start (just because you never are completely sure of how much that will be). And two, his disability letter from the VA. Jeremiah has some medical issues that will never resolve, he was expecting a decision if he’d receive disability or not. Basically you submit all your medical records, the VA makes appointments for you to be screened by their doctors and then they send a letter with a decision. Jeremiah got his letter, he was 90% disabled, which means a lot but one of the things is that he would receive a disability check monthly. So now we knew what our new, reduced budget would be.
We found our boat and bought her. We slowly moved on (and then moved 60% back off because it was too much stuff) and then started our journey. Neither of us really had any sailing experience at all. We didn’t even know if we’d get seasick or not. We just decided to take a leap of faith and it’s been great!
It’s been an adjustment for sure but neither of us regret it. It’s been an amazing adventure and we’ve been able to do it together, which was the entire idea.
Have questions? Send them in! Merry Christmas!