Again and Again Young People Give Us Hope for a Brighter Future
Dear Fellow Vermonter,
This weekend, at the Vermont State House, I hosted with my colleagues Senator Peter Welch and Representative Becca Balint the annual reception to honor Vermont students who applied and received nominations to attend the United States Service Academies.
Every year, the Vermont Congressional Delegation is asked to receive applications from Vermonters wishing to attend one of the five military academies: the Air Force Academy in Colorado, the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the Merchant Marine Academy.
Applicants to the academies must receive a nomination before their application can be sent to the academies for a final decision. Those who receive an appointment to a service academy receive four years of college education and commit to five years of active-duty service following graduation as commissioned officers.
This year, we decided to do things a little differently.
Before the ceremony, we added a roundtable discussion so Peter, Becca, and I could hear from the nominees and get a sense of what was motivating them. Unfortunately, I tested positive for COVID last week so I was not able to attend in person. However, I was able to call into the discussion, and what I heard from these young people was really quite remarkable.
It is no small thing to know that at 17 or 18 years of age, you want to serve your community and your country and, are willing to make enormous sacrifices to do that.
The delegation heard from students who are looking forward to becoming pilots or naval officers, and others who wanted to practice military medicine after receiving their medical training.
Above all, what struck me is that there are so many different ways to serve your community, and these young people, as well as young people all over the state and the country, are finding ways to do just that.
So to the 19 young Vermonters nominated to the Class of 2028 and their friends and families: Congratulations. You make Vermont proud. I wish you the best of luck in the future.
Banner Image: Roundtable event. Image Credit – Sen. Sanders