Half a dozen times this summer, I sat down at my computer intending to write an entry to post on the cadet blog, however, each time something would come up in my summer that would distract me from finishing. Now that the school year is here, I have finally found some time to gather my thoughts, and reflect upon this past season!
The summer going into 2/c year is always one that cadets look forward too because of the opportunity to be cadre at some point in the summer. And being cadre certainly was one of the highlights of my summer. This summer, I had the privilege of being AIM cadre, and work with seniors in high school – training, guiding, and mentoring them through a one-week program at the Academy. Working with the high school men and women was a rewarding and challenging experience, as each of the three weeks we had a different group of students to work with. I learned a lot about myself as a leader and had a great time working with the students! I would definitely encourage you to apply to the AIM program if you are seriously interested about attending the Academy; it will be a great experience and will help you decide whether or not you want to come here!
Although the three weeks as cadre were great, there were many other programs this summer which were equally as beneficial to me as I continued to grow as a leader. The highlight for me this summer, and the experience that I will never forget was the American Service Academies Program (ASAP). This was a 16-day program where four cadets and midshipmen from West Point, Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, and two cadets from the Coast Guard Academy (myself and fellow blogger 2/c Peter Driscoll!) spend time in Washington D.C., New York City, and Poland learning about the Holocaust. The program was led by Shiri Sandler, an amazing woman who works for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City (the sponsor the program). We spent that time studying the moral and ethical implications of the Holocaust in extreme depth, and attempted to apply what we learned to our lives as future military officers. Countless hours were spent in reflection and thought as we struggled with tough questions, and trying to find an answer to the “why” behind what occurred. The program was emotionally overwhelming and intellectually challenging, but I wouldn’t trade the experience and the memories for anything. After taking part in a program like that, my perspective on things changed in life, and that is something that will always stick with me.
Besides the intellectual benefits from the program, I also had the opportunity to meet some incredibly smart, passionate, dedicated, and just fun future officers from the other military academies. It was a great opportunity to network and meet other people, some of which will continue to be friends for a long time!
Despite how fantastic my summer experience was, I was definitely ready for a break when July 27th rolled around. I got to go home to Illinois for three weeks and I packed in a lot of fun and made a lot of memories in that short amount of time! I got to spend a lot of time with my girlfriend of six years, Maureen, which was such a blessing because she is spending the next semester of her college education studying abroad! So although I’m going to miss her a lot because I won’t see her for four months, I know that she is going to be having a once in a lifetime experience so I am incredibly excited for her!
Now I am back at the Academy, starting classes on Monday, and I am ready for the new challenges and experiences that await me this semester! Thanks for reading, and have a great school year yourself whoever is reading this!
Also, I think I have shared this Bible verse before, but it is one of my personal favorites that I feel God speak to me through:
Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
More about Luke.