MILITARY SPOTLIGHT - A person holding a sign - John McCain

Jekeydon “Jake” Pratcher
U.S. Coast Guard
Petty Officer 3rd Class

We at Keys Weekly have for a long time considered how to best 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 thrilled to present our bi-weekly Military Spotlight.

Why did you join the military?

I have a deep history of family members who have served. My father has retired from the Army and my younger brother currently serves in the Navy, and I have now been in the Coast Guard for seven years.

Ever been to Florida Keys/Key West before your current assignment? I hadn’t been to or heard much about the Florida Keys prior to being assigned here.

Did you choose Key West or were you just assigned here? Key West was very high on my list of assignment options.

What were you first thoughts when hearing you were coming to the Keys? I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had heard stories and seen pictures prior to moving here, but I couldn’t really believe how beautiful it is here.

Hobbies? I enjoy watching football, basketball, tennis and anything superhero-related, as I have recently started a comic book collection. 

Favorite things to do? Playing most sports, honestly. I love trying new foods and experiencing new cultures, I get a kick out of travel shows.

What do you like most about the Keys? The sunsets and sunrises are breathtaking. Despite knowing and expecting it daily, I still get awestruck when I go out to view them.

What do you like most about your assignment? I like the location the most. I never thought I would live on an island and never thought about what it would be like.

What would you change about living here in Key West if you had the power to do so? I am a ‘part-time vegan’ and there are a few incredible places to eat, but if I had to change one thing it would be a little more local dietary diversity. 

Any advice you’d give other military seeking assignment here? Finding a place to live when moving here can be difficult, so stay on top of the housing market.

What do you like most about living here? I am originally from a small town, so the Keys, in a way, feel similar to where I am from. It’s almost nostalgic.

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