Boy Rescued at Sea Graduates from U.S. Coast Guard Academy
- Vandredi, 18 Me, 2012 9:21 AM
NEW LONDON, USA (defend.ht/NPR) - Orlando Morel was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard in the waters off the Florida coast when he was a 6-year-old Haitian refugee. Now 24, he's headed back to Haiti for a tour of duty after graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, USA.
At the graduation ceremony Wednesday, Morel stepped smartly across the stage in his crisp dress white uniform as the dean read his name. Waiting at the other end of the stage with his commission as ensign was his adoptive mother, retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Louise Jackson.
Jackson was an animal lab technician at Bethesda Navy Hospital when she was tapped to help translate for ill Haitian refugees who had been brought there. She had emigrated from Haiti about 10 years before. One of the refugees was a woman very sick with cancer, separated from her young son, Orlando, who was at the military base at Guantanamo, Cuba. Jackson helped reunite mother and son.
"He came about a week before his 7th birthday. He came in April, and the mother died in July," Jackson says.
05.17.12 | NPR
She says Morel's mother asked her to take care of him before she died. Jackson eventually got Morel's father, who had stayed behind in Haiti, to agree to let her adopt Morel and help him become a citizen.
Read more about this inspiring story at NPR