In the summer graduation season, one Benicia High School graduate is basking in special honors before setting sail on his next life adventure. Vincent Lee, 2012 Benicia High School alum, graduated with honors and a special award from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Lee also received the Individual Proficiency Award by the Coast Guard Foundation, and was given a clock for excelling in management science. Officials gave out the special recognition during the Coast Guard Academy Award ceremony held May 17. Commencement for the entire class took place the following day. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was the keynote speaker.
After a nine-week summer break, which he is taking in Benicia, Lee will be commissioned to the U.S. Coast Guard base in Alameda and assigned to the new ship Munroe as a Deck Watch Officer. His mother, Gigi, said her son would like to have a long-term career with the Coast Guard, and has a dream of attending flight school. He could not be immediately reached for comment. He spends a lot of time out of cell phone range indulging in his favorite pastime, fishing, his mom said.
Lee, 21, is from Benicia, and his parents, Gigi and Peter Lee, live in town as well. He has long had a passion and interest in fishing, sailing, engineering and maritime issues. He revitalized the Benicia High School Sailing Club after it went defunct for a few years, and served on the sailing team at the Coast Guard Academy. In his youth, Lee displayed a strong interest in sailing and maritime issues. He learned to make many kinds of knots that he could use for fishing, and also had a goal of becoming a ship captain by sixth grade. He signed on with the Sea Scouts and served on the Chaser, a 90-foot ship out of Napa. Lee’s mom is a Green Valley Middle School teacher, and his dad is retired.