We at Keys Weekly want to honor the men and women serving in our local military installations. With help and advice from our community members in the armed forces, we’re proud to present our Military Spotlight.

JONATAN V. RIVERA
E-5, U.S. COAST GUARD

Why did you join the military? I decided to join the military to do something different in my life. I wanted to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. I wanted, and still want, to continue to protect what others have been protecting for years now. 

How many years have you been in the military? 5 to 6 years 

Had you ever been to the Florida Keys or Key West before your current assignment? Yes, I had, with my previous unit. 

Did you choose the Keys or were you assigned here? I choose to be in this unit. 

What were your first thoughts when hearing you were coming to the Keys? I was excited to be staying in Florida, but there weren’t any crazy thoughts since I had visited the area before.    

Hobbies and favorite things to do? Camping, hunting, shooting and trails. Spending time with the family and working out.

What do you like most about the Keys? The people I work with and the beautiful waters of the Florida Keys — and, of course, the weather.

What do you like most about your assignment? Everything, because there is a lot of variety. 

What would you change about life in the Florida Keys if you had the power to do so? Food. 

Any advice to give other military personnel seeking assignment here? My advice would be to make the best of it, no matter what. You can create and control what you do and yourself. So make the environment around you the best environment and have fun. Learn from the bad situations and face them with a smile, and keep moving forward. Learn from what others have to bring to the plate and have fun with all of it.

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