Would you give your life for this country? Three Pace seniors have answered “yes” to this question by applying to the Naval and Air Force academies this year. If these students enroll, they will receive a free education at an elite college. Also, students earn a monthly salary for tangibles not paid for by the U.S. government. There are many benefits to attending a military school, but there are sacrifices as well. Junior Jason Wiener said, “I applaud the chutzpa [Yiddish for courage] of these students who are willing to serve our grand nation.” But what influenced these students to take that first step?

Anh-Bao Tran-Le applied to the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy, as well as Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Emory, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, UGA, Georgetown, and BU. He has passed the physical test, sent in his application, and has received one of only a few nominations from Congressman John Lewis. To receive this nomination, Anh-Bao had a face-to-face interview with Congressman Lewis, and he bested about 100 fellow applicants. Anh-Bao was inspired to join the military by his grandfathers, who were in the Vietnam War. One was killed in action. Anh-Bao commented, “Country before self.” If he is accepted by the Air Force or Navy, there is a strong possibility that Anh-Bao could be stationed overseas. Apparently, he “would hate to be stationed in Hawaii or Puerto Rico…All the nice weather, beautiful beaches, and tons of golfing (along with the free food) would be awful…..”

Glen Harris applied to the Naval Academy, along with Western Carolina, West Georgia, Hampden-Sydney, and Florida Atlantic. Glen recently found out that he was accepted to the Naval Academy pending medical status and a nomination from Joe Biden (so if you see him in the halls please congratulate him). The Navy appealed to Glen because he has “always wanted to be in the military but I wanted to attend school as well. Going to the Naval Academy gives me the chance to go to school, be in the military, and be an athlete.” Glen does not believe that he will ever be stationed overseas, but if so he would accept the challenge as “an exciting step in my life.”

Alex Stephens applied to the Naval Academy, along with Notre Dame, Auburn, UNC, SMU, and Purdue. Alex also received a recommendation from Congressman John Lewis for his application. His main goal for applying to the Navy is to be stationed overseas and fight for his country. He had no stronger incentive than a personal desire “to just do it.”

By Andrew Harton, Staff Writer ’12

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