Pat-Med grad ships off to merchant marines
BY ANDREW BACON
Most parents have that final summer to adjust and figure out how to say goodbye before shipping their firstborn away to college. Just as soon as their oldest child Lukas graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School, parents Scott and Amy Peregoy and sister Kylie had one week before having to deliver their standout student-athlete and lacrosse captain to Kings Point last Friday to begin his boot-camp-style Indoctrination Program at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
For Scott and Kylie, the emotions ran higher, as they both had to miss the 2018 Pat-Med graduation ceremony due to Kylie’s participation in a field hockey tournament in Pennsylvania.
“I was happy for Kylie, but sad to miss the graduation,” Scott Peregoy said. “We had a family meeting about me missing it and Lukas was good about it. He graduated with a 97.5 GPA and we are super proud of him and this next chapter. He will be a plebe for one year. We won’t be able to see him during [Indoctrination]. And he won’t have his phone, either. That is probably the hardest thing for his generation. We will only be able to see him a few times during the plebe year.”
This is only the beginning of the sacrifice the Pat-Med graduate is prepared to make for his future. Since the USMMA is one of the five federal academies, most of his schooling will be paid for, as Peregoy will be required to work five years in the transportation industry upon completion of his degree. Perhaps his fascination with Pat-Med hero Lt. Michael Murphy was foreshadowing, as he was among the first of his eighth-grade peers to read the book and see the movie “Lone Survivor.”
According to USMS captain Mikel Stroud, Peregoy will become accepted into the Regiment of Midshipmen Program upon completion of Indoctrination. This 17-day intense program will include seamanship training, military drill, learning the honor code, academy history, tradition and mission, the academic program, study skills, leadership, and participation in a rigorous physical fitness program. During ‘Indoc,’ Peregoy will only have the opportunity to speak to his family during two Sunday evening five-minute phone calls.
“Their education and training will qualify them for a Bachelor of Science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and a commission in the Naval Reserve,” Stroud said of Peregoy’s options upon gaining acceptance into the Regiment. After his first year, the USMMA will require him to spend 100 days at sea in his sophomore year and 200 days at sea as a junior. “Even though I am excited to have graduated Pat-Med, the real graduation is in four years,” Peregoy said.
It all began with the desire to seize the day in his Medford community as a student-athlete. As a three-year starter on the lacrosse team, Peregoy prided himself on anchoring the Raiders’ defense.
“I usually try and command the defense and make sure everyone knows their responsibility,” Peregoy said. “But I also have to lock down the opponent’s greatest offensive threat.”
As a three-sport varsity athlete, Peregoy merged his athleticism, leadership and academics into a winning trifecta to earn the cross country scholar-athlete award as a freshman, JV football and varsity lacrosse scholar-athlete award as a sophomore, both winter track and lacrosse scholar-athlete awards as a junior while being 2017 lacrosse defensive player of the year, and served as the varsity lacrosse team’s captain his final two years.
Although the future engineering major received scholarship offers from Roger Williams and Utica, Kings Point was always the frontrunner, as he completed the United States Naval Sea Cadets Program during his freshman and sophomore years in high school, as well as worked at Morgan’s Marina as a dock hand and maintenance worker. It afforded the aspiring engineer to parlay his lacrosse captaincy into becoming one of only 250 candidates accepted into USMMA at Kings Point.
“It had an opportunity unlike anywhere else,” Peregoy said. “I will be able to see the world being at sea for 300 days during the program. I will be getting real job experience, as they have the highest return on investment in the country, which would help guarantee me a better career in the long run. The cost of the school is only around $10,000 minus the money you can make on your sea year. I’ve always been deeply fascinated with computers, and there are tons of connections with the merchant marines, so that will be a great way for me to do that.”
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