Connecticut Residents Graduate from Coast Guard Academy, Including Two Longtime Niantic Friends - NBC Connecticut

Connecticut Residents Graduate from Coast Guard Academy, Including Two Longtime Niantic Friends

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Bolton Addresses Coast Guard Academy Graduates

    National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to the graduating cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in New London on Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019)

    Eight Connecticut residents are now some of the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest commissioned officers.

    In total, 240 cadets graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday after 200 weeks of intensive studying and training.

    “I couldn’t be here without my family and my friends. I’m pretty proud. That’s all I can say,” said an emotional Quinton Parsons of Niantic.

    “It’s been amazing. I can’t believe it. I’m so proud. It’s hard I’m going to miss him a lot,” said his sister, Georgia.

    Parsons is headed to Pensacola, Florida. He’s assigned to the US Coast Guard Cutter Decisive.

    Not long ago, Parsons and his best friend Billy Bragaw were kids chasing after the caps thrown in the air at graduation.

    Here they are pictured at the academy graduation one almost a decade ago.

    Longtime friends Quinton Parsons and Billy Billy Bragaw graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday. Here they are at graduation 10 years ago.
    Photo credit: Family Photo

    Wednesday, they threw their own covers.

    “I can’t really put it into words to be honest. It means a lot at the end of the day, but it’s cool to have gone through it with him for sure,” said Parsons.

    Family, friends, and even their high school soccer coach now here for them.

    “Just to see how they’ve developed into the great young men that they are from where they were. Hopefully, you know, we all have part in that but I’m so proud of them,” said East Lyme High School Soccer Coach Paul Christensen

    As class president, Bragaw presented a gift to keynote speaker U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.

    Like Bolton, Bragaw grew up looking up to coast guardsmen.

    “The hard work that all of these people, but particularly, were obviously favor our grandson, but they’re all great,” said grandfather Lou Bragaw, a retired Coast Guard member.

    “I can’t add more to that. It’s just wonderful to see him graduate and all these kids too,” said Billy Bragaw’s other grandfather Bruce Skinner, who also served in the Coast Guard.

    Graduation Day at Coast Guard AcademyGraduation Day at Coast Guard Academy

    The Class of 2019 graduated from the Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019)

    Parson’s dad Chris has coached at the academy for 18 years.

    “I’m the men’s soccer coach. My son came and played for me. This is without a doubt the proudest day I’ll ever have besides when they were born of course.”

    While both men will settle into different cities soon—Bragaw is assigned to the Cutter James in Charleston—they’ll still work towards the same goal: two kids from Niantic with a shared dream to protect our country.

    Other Connecticut grads include:

    Jian Zhang, New London

    Camisha Moore, New London

    Matt Jones, Gales Ferry

    Stephen Bruno, North Branford

    Jill Friedman, Farmington

    Kali Borden, Milford

    Get the latest from NBC Connecticut anywhere, anytime