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Casey Fall shows her musical side in a graduation photo for Hudson High School class of 2012. It may represent her last official photo in civilian attire for some time. Photo submitted

Casey Fall chooses the Coast Guard Academy

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Casey Fall chooses the Coast Guard Academy
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Casey Fall is one Hudson High School member of the class of 2012 who has a full-ride scholarship to college and a guaranteed job upon graduation.

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If everything falls into place as she planned it, Casey will graduate as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and earn a job as a helicopter pilot.

She is enthusiastic about the future. "I'm excited more than scared," Casey said during a discussion at her Hudson home after track practice last week. "I look forward to the physical challenge."

She is a pole-vaulter on the HHS track team and was nursing a bruised forearm suffered when her pole broke during a jump.

There were many reasons behind her decision to enter the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., this summer, some subtle and others not so.

After a visit last summer, she was accepted by the Coast Guard. She also had offers from the Naval Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy.

"I chose the Coast Guard because I wanted to become a helicopter pilot," she said.

But, if she didn't get her wings, the time out to sea with the Coast Guard is shorter than on a traditional Navy cruise.

"If I want to have a family someday, the Navy wouldn't work," she said.

Casey also noted the Coast Guard Academy was the first service school to accept women.

A maritime tradition runs deep among the off-spring in the family. Casey's three older brothers have established it.

The oldest, Caleb, a member of the HHS class of 2007, graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2011 and is on active duty in Alameda, Calif.

Next older sibling, Carson, a 2008 HHS grad, was to graduate from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., May 29.

Brother Campbell, HHS class of 2010, is in his second year at the Coast Guard Academy but is admittedly having difficulties with the program, according to mother Jaimie

You would think the older brothers would hand down tips and inside information to their little sister when she made the decision to follow in their footsteps.

Not so, said Casey. "They talk about it to each other but not to me," she said. So the "Caboose Kid" will apparently have to do it on her own.

Casey also plays No.1 doubles on the HHS tennis team. She went to the state tournament in both sports last year and was shooting for a repeat. She said she cleared 11-feet for her best pole vault effort so far.

The next order of business is to prepare for what is referred to as "Swamp Summer," the orientation program for USCG Academy cadets that begins June 25.

"I have to get in shape," she said because pole vaulting doesn't require much running.

"The first day is a mile and one-half run," Casey said.

Currently the 5-foot-6, 125-pound senior said she can do 47 pushups and sit-ups won't be a problem.

She also carries a 3.95 grade point average in the classroom. "I plan to major in marine environmental science," she said.

"I'm looking forward to it and I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life," she said, "My college is paid for and I have a guaranteed job."

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Jon Echternacht
(715) 808-8602
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