Hollywood, MD – The U.S. Coast Guard has taken on many rescue missions in its 227-year history. St. Mary’s County resident Liza Recto remembers one of the branch’s great missions—it was to figuratively rescue her from a boring career in the corporate world. During the 1980’s Recto was living in San Francisco and working for an advertising agency. “It was hollow, superficial,” she opined. During a vacation to the Caribbean, Recto took a course in sailing and discovered the sea was calling. She answered the call by enlisting in the Coast Guard.
“It was a great time,” Recto said of her five years of service in the Armed Forces branch that today is under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The modern Coast Guard established early in the 20th century was under the U.S. Department of Treasury. However, twice—during World War I and World War II—it has been converted to an arm of the U.S. Navy.
It was during her stint in the Coast Guard that Recto discovered Southern Maryland, having been stationed at St. Inigoes. She recalled that while she was on ships that literally saved lives and occasionally boarded vessels suspected of carrying drugs and other contraband, many of the missions involved aiding boaters adrift due to their vessels running out of gas. “The Coast Guard was like AAA back then,” she recalled.
The service definitely instilled an enthusiasm Recto still has for many things nautical. She has managed marinas and once had a boat-detailing business. She has taken sailing trips and plied her navigational skills to those excursions. Living on the water is her preferred lifestyle. “Money isn’t everything,” she said.
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