2009-02-07 / News

Lakewood senior gets appointment to West Point

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON - It was quite a Christmas present.

Lakewood senior Brian Wright was officially informed Christmas Eve he was appointed to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. "I don't want to be the generation to break the chain," he said. His parents, Michael and Rhonda, are both Lieutenant Colonels in the military and Wright said the military legacy spans many generations of his family.

Wright will study engineering at West Point in the fall and will earn the rank of Second Lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation. The total value of his education exceeds $400,000.

Michael Wright said there's nothing easy about being accepted to West Point. The nominative process includes recommendations from Congressional representatives - Congressman Zack Space and US Senator George Voinovich backed Wright - writing essays and a formal interview. Wright said he wrote about the qualities needed to succeed at West Point-leadership, persistence, and respect. The leadership and respect aspects are self-evident, but Wright said he'll need persistence to succeed. "It's going to be hard," he said. "It's West Point."

Once Wright graduates, he'll be obligated for seven years of service-five on active duty and two as a reserve.

Wright said West Point students are highly motivated to succeed. The class' best performers have first choice of assignments and locations upon graduation. Those at the bottom of the class have very little choice. Roughly 1,300 students are annually accepted into the academy.

Currently, Wright is vying for valedictorian of his Lakewood High School class, so he hopes his success will spill over into his West Point studies. He ships out June 28, after he completes high school. The academy won't be completely unfamiliar to him as he's already taken a summer leadership seminar on campus. "I got to meet the best of the best," said Wright.

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