May Chongwiboon – LRHS News
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Most Americans are familiar with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. One 2014 LRHS graduate, however, has his sights set on a less famous service. Salvatore Sablan plans to attend the Merchant Marine Academy, majoring in Maritime Transportation with a minor in Logistics.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy, in King’s Point, N.Y., is a service academy that educates and trains licensed Merchant Marine officers. Merchant marine officers serve on cargo ships during peacetime and become part of the Navy if the US goes to war.
A student accepted to the academy, receives government orders directing when to arrive, and when the tour will be complete.
Every male on both sides of Sablan’s family have served the country in one way or another. Sablan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all been in the Army or Marine Corps. Sablan applied to the Naval Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and five schools under an Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Marine Option Scholarship that he received in December.
Sablan is extremely influenced and inspired by the people around him, considering that every male in his family has served in some way. Also, Sablan has always been surrounded by his father’s lifelong friends who are Marine officers or are recently retired.
Sablan lives by two mottos. The first, “Fortuna Favet Fortibus” (Fortune Favors the Strong), is the motto that belongs to the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines. This is the unit that Sablan’s father served in, and also where he met many of his friends. The second motto is “Acta non verb” (Actions Not Words). This is the Merchant Marine Academy’s motto, and influences Sablan.
“I tell everyone that asks that my ultimate goal is to have a yacht massive enough that I can have smaller cabin cruisers and other boats stored on the inside somehow,” Sablan said, “I hope to be able to make enough so that I can retire down to the islands in the winters and be up here in Florida in the summers.”
Sablan was born in Missouri, and has lived in North Carolina and Virginia as well. Because his father was a Marine, Sablan and his family had to move around a lot. Sablan has been visiting Englewood every year since he was two-years-old and moved to Florida last June.
In his free time, Sablan enjoys going out to the beach with his family, and simply relaxing. Before moving to Florida, Sablan was heavily involved in extra curricular activities, so he never really had the chance to have time to himself.