Ok, I'm going to be blunt here.

From what I see in your post you don't have a "work ethic." What you have is a "work avoidance ethic."

You have 150 credits at your local CC but you don't have a cert or degree. WHY? Probably because you took a bunch of classes in underwater basket weaving with no goal in mind. Result: no focus and no direction.

You have a welders cert from 4 years ago yet you are a line cook. WHY? Probably because you have no real desire to enhance or use your earned skills. Result: No focus, no direction, and no desire.

Finally, you post here about "what to do" and list all the things you've done, touted how "smart" you are, and yet still have no idea what you want to do with yourself while you are "waiting for the Coast Guard" to start hiring again. WHY? Probably because you are avoiding facing the reality that you don't want to push yourself to your true potential and make yourself into what you seem to believe you are. Result: NO ONE is going to hire you whether you are 21 or 51 with that track record.

So, here's the scoop. Go back to the CC and ask them what classes you need to take to get your IGETC transfer credits. Then take those classes, focus on the material, get straight A's(!!!) and then transfer to some University with a real degree program in something which interests you. Pass those classes with straight A's (!!!!) and become someone who is desirable in the work place for their knowledge, drive, focus, and skills.

Anything else is whining about how rotten the world is treating you.