One of Carrabelle’s favorite sons is shining in his Coast Guard career.
Born here in 1982, he graduated from Carrabelle High School in 2000 and immediately enlisted in the Coast Guard. Since then his career has been meteoric.
In fall 2012, he was profiled in Coast Guard Magazine where he spoke proudly of his Franklin County roots.
“The Coast Guard Cutter Sea Hawk was the most exciting place I have been because of its location; my home town,” Pedrick told his Coast Guard interviewer. “I come from a small town and graduated high school with only 32 students in my senior class, as a result, it’s a very tight community and how many times in our career do we get to work in our hometown?
“Getting to drive the Cutter Boat Medium and drop off boarding teams on boats that I used to work on as a young man is something we don’t get to do every day in the Coast Guard,” he said.
Today, Pedrick is an E6 boatswain mate first class on the Aids to Navigation team (ANT) at Kodiak, Alaska and executive petty officer for the unit.
Aids to N with Coast Guard careeravigation are a vital element to the safety of life at sea for fishing vessel crews, commercial cargo vessels and other mariners when entering and departing through treacherous waters near ports and harbors.
It’s the job of Coast Guardsmen at units like ANT Kodiak to maintain navigational aids so commercial mariners can safely deliver products and groceries throughout the communities of Alaska.
ANT Kodiak’s primary mission is to maintain the aids to navigation from the entrance of the Prince William Sound in the east to the southwestern tip of Kodiak and ranging as far north as Point Hope in the Arctic.
When not occupied with maintaining beacons and buoys, ANT Kodiak provides a training vessel for the air station to hone and refine their skills for hoisting a basket or swimmer to a vessel from a helicopter to be ready for emergencies. They also simulate a vessel in distress for training exercises. This is done so when the aircrews have to respond to a maritime emergency they are ready to expertly place an emergency life raft or hoist basket on or near a vessel in distress.
Pedrick married a local beauty, Ruth Murphy and has 8-year-old twins Bobbie and Joshua. Last August, Ruth gave birth to a baby boy Vance Eugene Pedrick.
Pedrick said his wife is his hero who “picks up from everything she knows and moves around the world” to support his career, all the while caring for three children alone while he is deployed.
Ruth and Vance Pedrick are active in scouting and enjoy the outdoors and visiting Carrabelle.
Vance’s mother, Carrabelle resident Janice Pedrick, is very proud of her son and hopes he will be an example to Franklin County’s youth.
“We want people to know kids in Carrabelle can go to this school, get a good education and go out into the world and be whatever they want to and be doctors and lawyers and anything else they can dream of,” she said.
Vance Pedrick offers the following advice to students, “Set goals and push yourself to reach them, the world has lots to offer and you can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard.”