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Support Away from Home

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Michael Klakring With the start of a new semester come new challenges. My first challenge this semester is not one I would have ever predicted: the death of my grandfather. After having just seen him while home for Christmas, the decline of his health once I returned here after New Year’s and the notice of his passing came pretty quickly and sooner than expected. Here at the Academy, there is a form called a “special request,” a magical form that can get permission for anything out of the ordinary. In my case, I am asking for special liberty, an extension of my MLK Day weekend, in order to be home with my family during this tough time.

There is no better support system than the chain of command and friends here at the Academy. Everyone is willing to sacrifice something for me, whether it is a few minutes to just talk or a ride back from the airport on a school day. With the large number of cadets surrounding me who have either gone through this experience, or appreciate its difficulty, especially while here, I have been able to deal with this event in my life.

Counselors and chaplains are always available, but sometime a math teacher is all you need to talk to. After all, all of the officers we interact with here are leaders and mentors.

Everyone has a genuine interest in their shipmates here at the Academy; it is sort of a “brotherhood,” (including the females) that bands together because we all know better than anyone else outside the gates about what exactly goes on here. “You will never live so close to so many friends” is how one officer described life at the Academy, and its 100% true.

More about Mick.