Joining the Navy in 1993, Keith Bernauer felt a unique desire to challenge himself to do more with his life. He began what he likes to describe as a very “diverse” military career. His first four-year term included the honor of being selected for the Presidential Honor Guard, which allowed him to serve in ceremonies at the White House with clearance with the President. He also obtained training as an Operations Specialist for tracking ships.
Keith finished his first four-year term in April 1997 and received a basketball scholarship to attend Craven College. However, realizing it was not his passion, Keith decided to re-enter the military in October 1998. He spent the next fourteen years expanding his military career and was decorated with five Navy achievement medals upon his retirement in 2012.
Keith’s life took on a different calling when he transitioned back to civilian life. His sports background led him to a new career as a Basketball Coach at Carteret County Schools, where he also took on a teaching position in the ISS (In-School Suspension) classroom. His youth work in that classroom environment and often on the court, led him to a special understanding that many of his students did not have the chance to grow and thrive like he did as a kid. Therefore, Keith made an impactful choice to step up to the plate to also serve as a father figure and mentor to those in need.
Admittingly, Keith shares that working to make a difference for these kids is very time-consuming and credits his wife for her equally selfless acts. “There is no way for me to be able to do this without her. She works so hard so that it will allow me to donate and give the time that I do to these kids and this mission. It’s because of her, that I can be who I am to these kids,” says Keith.
Our ALCOVA team at our Greenville branch was honored to visit Keith at Morehead City Middle School to present him with his Hometown Hero award with his family and close friends on site.
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