Tony Bonanno
USCG Retired, HCVA Guide/Logistics and Field Operations

I enlisted in the Coast Guard on 26JUN1996.  After boot camp in Cape May, NJ I served as rank Seaman Apprentice (E-2) aboard USCGC Sangamon in Peoria, IL.  Then made Seaman (E-3) and transferred to USCG Yard Baltimore, MD.  I was there until being accepted to Damage Controlman A-School in Yorktown, VA, upon graduation and advancement to Damage Controlman 3rd class (DC3/E-4) I was transferred to USCGC Henry Blake in Everette, WA where I made DC2 (E-5) and transferred to Naval Engineering Support Unit Seattle and made DC1 (E-6).  There, I made repairs and modifications to CGCs Polar Sea, Polar Star, Healy, Midgett and Mellon.  I then, transferred to Aids to Navigation Team Southwest Harbor, ME to perform lighthouse maintenance.  From there, I volunteered for the Maritime Security Response Team followed by Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in the Kingdom of Baharain where I made Chief Damage Controlman (DCC/E-7).  From there I transfered to my final duty station at Training Center Yorktown Virgina, Weapons and Engineering Branch, Damage Control School where I retired teaching the trade I love.

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  • Appalachian Trail through hike, SOBO 2017

  • Pacific Crest Trail California through hike, NOBO 2018

  • Bike pack Victoria Island, Vancouver, BC 2018

  • Bike pack Southern Mexico, 2018/19

  • Appalachian Trail sections hike, NOBO 2019

  • Pacific Crest Trail WA/OR through hike, SOBO 2019

  • Colorado Mountain College, Outdoor Recreational Leadership student proficiencies:

    • Mountaineering​

    • Sea Kayaking

    • Backcountry Winter Travel

    • Canyoneering

Adventure Experience

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I found HCVA in 2019.  I was attempting to have a civilian life in Summit County Colorado; it was not working out.  I was angry, I was drinking too much, I was not sleeping, and work was frustrating.  Where are people who do things because it is the right thing to do, where are people who care about their comrades, where was HCVA?  After one trip, I knew these were my people; after two trips, I knew I needed this and needed to share this.  Through HCVA I learned how to use my GI Bill and started attending CMC to earn my guide certifications and hone my leadership skills to apply to the outdoors.  I am working my way up to become a wilderness therapist and help other who need HCVA as much as I do.

I do this because I know how much it hurts to be alone in a crowd