Issy Caporale served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 25 years from 1983 to 2006 all on active duty. She would serve throughout many lifesaving missions, as well as traveling around the world and getting to experience new places while doing her duty in serving our country. Ms. Caporale served in a variety of positions including life-saving aboard the larger ships, search and rescue on smaller boats for most of the time, and working as a recruiter later in her service. Originally, Ms. Caporale was going to go into the Air Force, however, she was introduced to the Coast Guard, and what it had to offer, so she instead decided to apply there and she started her service at the age of 24.
During her service, Ms. Caporale tended to spend her time on smaller boats between sizes of 41 and 47 feet because the larger cutters didn’t have living spaces for women known as berthings. Fortunately, Ms. Caporale and her fellow sailors are able to go out to sea almost every day. Ms. Caporale was able to travel around both the country and the world during her time in the Coast Guard, being stationed multiple times in the South Pacific near countries such as the Indonesian Islands, Midway Island, Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. During a long period of time, Ms. Caporale served in Communications and was responsible for listening to people calling for help and people putting out SOS calls in order to locate a boat in an emergency. However, even though Ms. Caporale was trained to work in Communications, the Coast Guard requires all people joining to train in multiple fields to be ready to fill different positions, so everyone was prepared for any special missions that they needed more people. During the end of her service, Ms. Caporale became a recruiter and was stationed in New York City, where she would remain for the last few years.
After leaving the military, Ms. Caporale had a difficult homecoming. Just a couple of months before she retired, her father became very sick and unfortunately passed away. After taking a few months off, Ms. Caporale worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Ridgefield where she grew up. After working at the Boys and Girls Club for a few months, Ms. Caporale worked for the town of Ridgefield as a police dispatcher for eleven years. She then worked at Saint Mary School as a security guard, and later served as the police commissioner, a position she holds today. Now, Ms. Caporale works as a referee for Women’s sports.
Some advice that Ms. Caporale would give to people considering joining the military, is to look at all the branches of the military and decide for themselves which one is the best for them. Some ways that Ms. Caporale would encourage people to help support Veterans in our community are by supporting homeless Veterans with medical care, helping them to find shelter, affording food and clothing, donating to Veteran's charities, or any other ways that you can find.