Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole Emmons is right at home here at one of the U.S. Coast Guard's units in Lake Charles. She's the only female in this office, but the other guys treat her like their sister. Emmons is part of a compass team that helps recruit young people to the Coast Guard, especially young women.
"I was a little unsure about boot camp," said Emmons. "I tell them I went through, I made it. I graduated near the top of my boot camp class. If I can do it, I'm a living example that any girl can do it. I do highly encourage them because it is a great career."
As a marine science technician, Emmons helps investigate pollution cases and cleanup along with pollution safety laws. People are sometimes surprised that there are no boats here.
"We get that in the community sometimes. They're a little surprised to see us. We just do a lot of the land side work here and that's probably the reason people don't see us often because they expect to see the Coast Guard on boats. They don't understand that we also do land side work as well."
Emmons has been recognized as this year's Military Times service member of the year and the Coast Guard's Shipmate of the week.
"At my first unit, we did a lot of search and rescue cases. For me, that was most rewarding. Getting to save lives and be there on the front lines. Getting to pull someone off a sinking vessel. We had a few of those where I was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida."
Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole Emmons. This week's KPLC Billy Navarre Hometown Patriot.