Hemet High graduate completes Navy boot camp

Hemet High graduate completes Navy boot camp

By Jessica Self

THE VALLEY CHRONICLE

Hemet High graduate Gregory Abejon has done big things since his graduation in June of last year.

The honor graduate decided in March of last year that he would enlist in the U.S. Navy instead of going to college. On Jan. 6 he completed the first step in that mission by graduating from boot camp.

“I don’t want to say that the Navy was a backup plan,” Gregory said. “I have always wanted to do it. When I realized how much college would cost, it just finalized my decision to join.”

The fact that Gregory did not get accepted to his first choice UC schools also helped aid his decision.

“College just did not work out right away. So, in June I went in and got my contract and waited to get shipped out to boot camp,” Gregory said.

In November, Gregory headed to Chicago for the boot camp that he thought he was excited and ready for.

“Sitting around Hemet for all those months, waiting to leave, it made me think I was really ready to leave home,” Gregory said. “But I was surprised how much I really missed Hemet and how excited I am to come back. Boot camp was extremely challenging.”

While Gregory was able to see his family at his boot camp graduation early in the month, he immediately shipped out to San Antonio, Texas to begin his schooling.

Gregory is training to become a hospital corpsman in the Navy. Under that field, he is training to become a surgical technician.

“There are a lot of specialties in the hospital corpsman field. It is like the medical field of the Navy and the school I am at is like job training,” Gregory said.

Gregory said he plans on spending five years in the Navy and then pursuing his medical career outside of the Navy.

“The Navy is going to give me a really strong base for my future. I would like to become a doctor and go to medical school. The Navy will create the foundation for that to happen,” he said.

The fact that he is serving his country is not something that Gregory takes lightly either.

“The main reason I chose the Navy is because I want to serve my country. The fact that I am gaining experience in my field is a bonus to me,” he said. “I figure since this was something I already decided I wanted to do, I may as well get as much education out of it as possible.”

Thus far, Gregory said he has already learned time management, organizational skills, and character development.

“I have already gotten so much of my life squared away and I am just out of high school,” Gregory said. “I think I have shown that there are good options for kids who might not be able to go to college.”

Gregory said he hopes to finish his schooling by July of this year and get some time to visit Hemet before shipping out. He will get to choose where he is stationed at based on his grade point average.

“I am going to try really hard to do well in school. The higher your GPA, the earlier you will get to choose where you get stationed. I will find out halfway through the semester,” he said. In the meantime, Gregory is excited at the thought of being home.

“I can’t wait to get back to Hemet,” he said.
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