On Sunday, June 30, 2013 I was invited by Colonel M.L. Westmoreland with my family and my friend, Griffin Bates, to go to West Point for a boat ride with the “Blue and Gold Star” Military Families and personnel.  This was a great opportunity to learn more about the military.  What I learned about the military can help me to understand them better.  I met a man named Colonel (Retired) Dominic Morelli.  He wanted to buy a star and support the USO. This was a very great honor because he wanted to help other soldiers.  Also, I got to see West Point from all different angles.  Gene Westmoreland gave us a tour of West Point.  He taught us about the history of the Academy.  The United States Military Academy at West Point is a 4-year college, which was founded in 1802 and is funded by the U.S. Government.  Many important leaders went there including John J. Pershing who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War I and General of the Armies in 1919, and Douglas MacArthur who was the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy from 1919-1922, Army Chief of Staff from 1930-1935, the Supreme Commander of the Pacific from 1941-1945, and Supreme Commander of U.N. Forces in Korea from 1950-1951. To be accepted as a cadet at West Point your congressman (or congresswoman) must write a letter of recommendation to the West Point Administrators.  You are competing against potential applicants from your whole state.  You have to serve in the military for four years after graduating West Point.  West Point has a park full of trophies and statues won in wars.  This park is called Trophy Point. I saw Battle Monument there.  Battle Monument has the “tallest polished granite shaft in the Western Hemisphere,” and around the shaft, there are large granite spheres according to the West Point website.  We also visited the chapel where the students go to pray.  It is called Cadet Chapel and it has the largest church organ in the world.  Engraved in the sanctuary window is the West Point motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” Besides that, I saw 6 trains that day.  One train even had about 250 cars!  The day was marvelous-every step of the way!  I want to go back!

Your Neighbor,

Jake Gallin


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