Darcy Guyant Flies Even Higher After RetirementJan 09, 2024
Darcy Guyant first fell in love with flying in high school, when he got his private license his senior year. Eager for more, Darcy participated in High School to Flight School, a program that allows high school graduates to apply to become warrant officers and attend Army Aviation School. After flying with the Army for seven years, Darcy entered the Coast Guard, where he spent the next 18 years flying helicopter search and rescue missions. “Joining the Coast Guard was one of the best decisions of my life,” he says. “I loved my career and the opportunities I received because of that.”
After retirement, Darcy wrote his first book, To Seek and To Save, in order to share his most significant experiences. But it was while volunteering with first graders at his local elementary school that Darcy found his next calling—writing children’s books. “I thought I was done with my writing career after my memoir,” he says. “But I was motivated to record some things for my granddaughter about who I was and what I had done.”
With the encouragement of the teachers at the elementary school. Darcy created The Coast Guard Adventures of Dolph and Gwen, with book one, Into the Storm, published in May 2023. Dolph is the name given to the Coast Guard HH65 Dolphin, a rescue helicopter, while Gwen the pilot is named for his granddaughter, Gwenyth. An illustrator brought the characters to life, even basing Gwen’s appearance on Darcy’s daughter and granddaughter. The story is told from Dolph’s point of view, who is scared to fly into a severe storm to rescue three people from a sinking boat. “Although it’s an intense story, it ends happily,” Darcy explains. “Gwen praises everyone for their courage, teamwork and trust and there is a moral lesson there as well.”
Darcy happily visits schools to read his book and discuss the adventures with the elementary-aged children. “I’ve had such wonderful feedback from both parents and kids,” he says. “It’s been one of the most fulfilling things of my life.” The book also opens up a conversation about job opportunities within the aviation field. From pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers to rescue swimmers, there are many aviation jobs available right out of high school. “There is a lot of math and science involved with flying, but what you receive in school provides the basis of what you need to continue a career in aviation,” Darcy says. “Many kids want to be a firefighter or a veterinarian, so I hope my book can give them ideas about other professions.”
As for Gwenyth, the four-year-old is obsessed with her grandfather’s book and has it memorized. “I wanted her to have a strong female character to admire,” Darcy says. “She loves to sit in my lap and listen to it over and over.”
Darcy’s second book in the series, Escaping The Blaze, has now been published, with hopefully many more tales of Dolph and Gwen to come.