Like many North Carolinians, I come from a strong military family. My father-in-law was a two-star Marine General. My father and brother served in the Navy, and my husband, Chip, is a Vietnam veteran. I also have two nephews on active duty.
One of my nephews, Niles Ruthven, always wanted to fly. His dad says he was part of the "Star Wars" generation. His interest in the Air Force began during a trip to the Air Force Academy with his Boy Scout troop, and a visit to Academy Day hosted by his local congressman eliminated any doubt about his preferred college.
My family was so proud of Niles when he was accepted to the Air Force Academy, and I still remember the joy in my brother's voice when he called to share the news. Today, Niles is known as Major Ruthven, and he is living his dream flying F-15E Strike Eagles.
Nearly two decades after an Academy Day inspired my nephew to serve his country, I'm inviting all 7th through 12th grade students, as well as middle and high school counselors, from across North Carolina to attend Military Service Academy Day sponsored by my office in Asheboro on Saturday, September 21st. The event at Randolph Community College's Learning Resources Center Auditorium will provide an opportunity for students, parents and counselors to learn more about the five service academies and my office's nomination process.
Registration will begin at 9am, while the program and academy fair will run from 10am to 1pm. Please note that an RSVP is not required to attend. Students will meet with my nominations staff as well as representatives from the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy.
Our servicemembers take many paths to begin a military career, and the Academies offer an excellent route to military service. So many Academy graduates reflect on the value of their education and how their time spent in service to their country instilled in them a sense of responsibility and leadership.
When a service academy accepts a young person into its institution, it expects more than four years of college and a tour of duty; it expects to groom the next generation of leaders who possess a steadfast commitment to service of their country. Acceptance into a service academy is an incredible honor.
I'm proud that so many North Carolinians have sought this honor and represented our state with integrity and character. I encourage any interested young students to attend Military Academy Day on September 21st so my office can educate them about the admissions process, help them begin their service to our country and make North Carolinians proud.
If you would like more information about Academy Day, please contact my Director of Constituent Services, Jennifer Johnson, at (336) 333-5311.
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