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cadet blogs

We Are Family!

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello blog readers,


I have been quite busy as of late, thanks to a full Marine and Environmental Science (MES) schedule, combined with the fun, but full, weekends of cheerleading, and on top of all of that, the typical stresses of Academy life. We have just come out of Homecoming Weekend that included multiple drill/marching related events, a football game, and more than usual evening trainings. It seems that I have had three tests a week for the past few weeks, and project due dates emerging slowly from the syllabi of most of my classes.


Despite my endeavors as a typical third class cadet, I can say that I am as happy as I can be. I have an immense support structure that can rival even the worst of my days, and can provide for me a family in Connecticut in addition to my family back home in Maryland.


Everywhere I look, I find friends and role models, and parental figures, all of whom live either at the Academy or work there. My friends are a huge reason for my happiness and success. I have found people at this school who will be honest with me, laugh with me and make me laugh. People who I can do homework with during the week, and then go out with on the weekends. They can tell when I am down, and they know me well enough to know how to make me smile. I love my friends at the Academy, and the group continues to grow as I spend more time in my new company and expand my interests. I know that many of these people I will remain close to for the rest of my life.


Whether I am with my friends or not, if I am looking for a running destination, or a hangout spot for a few hours, I was connected last year with a sponsor mom who has created for me a haven away from the Academy. She has opened her home to me and often times some of my friends. She has taken me apple picking, on a trip to the aquarium, to buy a pet plant, and she has supported me at my sporting events and will be my coach for lacrosse. I love her company and I enjoy cooking with her, and hanging out with her in a setting other than the Academy.


Another huge support of mine is the religious community at the Academy. I have been on multiple weekend retreats, attend Friday Night Fellowship whenever I can, and I love to go to church with my friends on Sundays. I am comforted to know that I am able to feed my spiritual self without even leaving the Academy campus.


I have to say that I feel very lucky to be this happy, and for the opportunities that I have been given. My family in Maryland has supported me and continues to do so, but a six-hour car ride has made me lean on my support system here, a system that has more than met my social, academic, and spiritual needs.


I hope that this wasn’t too long of an entry but when I get started on all of the people who support me, I have to say that the list isn’t short!




Pushing Through the Semester

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Kuntz Photo I can’t even begin to say how busy the past few weeks have been here. It seems like yesterday we were just starting the semester and now we’re already at midterms! I’ve been pretty busy with sailing. We are gone every weekend, which means that I don’t have a lot of time to do my homework or get ahead on projects. We go to a new venue almost every weekend for regattas and I’ve had a chance to see the East Coast way more than if I wasn’t a sailor. I’ll be the first person to admit that I didn’t think I was going to like the East Coast, but it is absolutely awesome. I grew up in a small, nautical community and that’s what all of these towns are; not to mention I’m a huge seafood fan and it doesn’t get any better than this!


Academically, it’s weird to think that I’m sort of used to having 3+ big assignments and projects due a week. The workload is a heavy but it’s manageable if you sit down and push through it. That’s my biggest thing, I get distracted really easily. I have to make a concerted effort to sit down and do my work, which makes for some entertaining, yet productive, studying sometimes.


Parents Weekend was kind of a bummer. I had a regatta in Boston so I was gone for the weekend and my mom just had surgery so she couldn’t travel up to Boston. It was kind of sad and made me really homesick when everyone was with their parents at classes, but this past weekend made up for it! My parents, grandparents, brother, and even my puppy came up for Columbus Day! That turned out to be a much better deal. For Parents Weekend, all of us cadets were required to go to a mandatory football game and so you couldn’t take a long weekend (unless you were in Boston sailing of course!). I had four days with my parents and it was so refreshing! Now there’s only 41 days until I leave for Thanksgiving (not that I’m counting or anything). It’s time to push through the rest of the semester and Christmas will be here before we know it!


As always, feel free to contact me with any questions!


More about Savannah.


My Dad

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo The request: Take a few minutes to publicly thank those people who helped you reach your goal of attending the Academy and have been instrumental in making your way through life as a cadet.


The response: If I were to thank anyone for their influence to get me to the Academy, it would have to be my dad. I know that sounds cheesy because everyone always picks their dad! Yet, my dad is special (cheesy, too, I know). My dad grew up in South-Central Los Angeles, the biggest ghetto in the U.S. back in the 60s. He was one of the only Hispanics at an all black high school. He worked his way through college as a bag boy at the local supermarket. After working the night shift, he went to get some breakfast and picked the wrong diner. It was held up and during the robbery my dad was shot twice, millimeters away from his spine and jugular vein. He survived, by millimeters. When he married my mom, he moved his family to Arizona for a new job. Coming from dreary beginnings with nothing handed to him, my dad worked his way into a better environment for his family. Later on, he suffered a disease that took away 65 percent of his hearing overnight; no problem, he just saved the neighbors a cable TV bill since they could always hear ours. Two knee replacements and back surgery later, he was doing great (he could golf…what else could he ask for?). His son was applying to colleges, and the Academy was in the mix. With minimal prodding, his son picked the Academy. Seeing his son two or three times a year now, but talking on the phone almost every night, things were going smoothly. His son was surviving and time was flying (for him!). Two years went by in a flash, but then something had to come and put another obstacle in his way. While his son was home for summer leave, he got a report back from the doctor of blood cancer, multiple myeloma. It is just another hurdle for him to jump, and through all the past hurdles he hadn’t stumbled and we all know he won’t stumble on this one either. Currently, my pops is going through chemo and is awaiting a stem cell transplant.


What gets me through this place? My dad does. His nightly phone calls. His picture on my desk. If I ever think about complaining about how hard my life is, all I have to do is look at that picture on my desk or hear his voice on the phone. I know if he could do what he’s done with the odds stacked up against him, then I know this place ain’t nothing. If I ever complain about something at the Academy, rest-assured I’ll get the smart-aleck comment of “Try chemo!”



More about Matt.