just a warning.
the home of the united states naval academy.
the place I spent a week last summer.
the place I am filling out the ever long application for.
the place I may be spending the next four years of my life.
well even if I dont spend any more time there... the week I spent there is a week I will never forget.
so let me start at the beginning.
I was playing aau basketball in april of my sophomore year, and although I had heard of the naval academy... I had never really thought about it or pictured myself there.
but when I got some feedback from their coach after my tournament I became intrigued.
so I went on the athletic website and filled out a recruiting questionarre. and I guess thats how my name got in the system up there.
and then I tore my acl. so the rest of the summer I didnt play any basketball, and didnt really have any contact with any coaches... or navy for that matter.
so with lots and lots of rehab I was ready to go by the time for the regular season of high school ball.
but thats beside the point.
well anyways sometime in february of my junior year I got something in the mail that said...
come to the naval academys summer seminar.
well it said a lot more than that but I am pretty sure I applied that night.
I honestly didnt think I would be accepted but about two months later I got a letter that said something like this....
congrats on being accepted to the naval academy summer seminar (nass)
you were one of only about 700 selected to attend week two.
so anyways. I was pretty excited. I ordered my plane tickets to annapolis, ran a few miles every morning the week before, and tried to get myself ready for what would be the hardest week ever.
but it was also the greatest week ever.
I will never forget the people or the experiences.
I made friends from all around the country.
these people right here.
alexxis. basketball brought us together.
andrew. the best interview helper everrrrr.
justin. he was at navy this weekend(:
and chelsea. known to the third platoon as j-wow.
fist pumps on the party bus(:
you had to be there to understand.
she is from jersey.
and then there is my squad.
they were the best.
and of course I have to tell about the greatest platoon in the history of nass.
thats us right there.
we really got on the other platoons nerves that week.
we were so loud and stuck together.
and it didnt help that we were awesome at everything.
so this is pretty much how our week went.
we got there saturday. and stayed until thursday.
getting about fourteen hours of sleep the entire week.
we would wake up at about four thirty with people screaming at us pounding on our doors.. and the we would run... you never walked.... to the pt field. one day we had a navy seal do our morning pep....
I almost died.
then we would run back to bancroft hall (the largest dormitory in the world.)
the light green roof is all of the dorm.
its ridiculously huge.
after that we would have a few minutes to shower and stuff.
then we would meet for breakfast.
the whole brigade would eat together but it wasnt like most college cafeteria style eating.
you ate with your squad, all around a table and then the tables around you were all part of your platoon.
each table was served platters and you passed the food around like you were eating dinner with your family... because when you are at the academy the people in your squad and platoon are your family.
plus there were tons of fantastic games that everyone played at your tables. and then each table came up with a random chow call that you said before you left your table.
it was chaotic and loud, but tons of fun.
after breakfast we had briefs and classes.
the classes were so fun... yeah I know that sounds crazy.. school fun? but yeah everything was so interesting.
we got to go out on boats, look at space satellites, got to "go to war" virtually of course, learned what to do if your submarine was to leak, picked apart a chapter of pride and prejudice, and then the coolest class of all was physics....
also known as the magic show.
these guys were hilarious.
and everything they showed us blew our minds.
then we would eat lunch and go back to another class.
I got to see the spot where the speed of light was discovered... yeah that was pretty cool.
then we would have drill.
and let me tell you drill was intense stuff.
everyone took it so serious because they wanted to win.
after drill we would have a little bit of free time then off to dinner.
after dinner the real fun began.
we had more briefs and the whole brigade would go crazy.
we had a lot of working out throughout the day but I think the biggest workout was the spirit missions at night.
talk about awesome. they were awesome.
we would crawl in the underground tunnels, break into buildings and jump off extremely high diving boards, and yeah other awesome secret stuff that I probably shouldnt tell about.
so basically you got back to sleep at around two or three and then woke up again at four thirty to start all over.
on wednesday we had mock sea trials.
the absolute best day of the entire week.
here is a little bit of what we did.
wet and sandy.
the wetter and sandier the better.
the endurance course.
log pt, a little martial arts, and guns.
and finally the track.
where you did the stupid tunnel of love for like an hour.
and carried "injured or dead" soldiers around the track.
I was an injured one so I was carried.
which I personally think may have been worse than the light jog.
we also took a quick break during the day to eat one of these.
I think I had chicken fajita with rice... or something like that.
but I was one of the lucky ones with the peanut butter in mine.
apparently that what they live off.
so about ten hours later were had finally finished sea trials.
so you think we were done for the day.... ohh no. it was only like 1900hours.
also known as seven o clock.
and then we had indoc.
the worst thirty minutes ever.
first of all they go on this big story about how mad at us they are and so we all report on deck and they tell us to turn around and face the wall.
the lights arent all on and its so so so quiet.
then all of a sudden out of nowhere people start screaming and yelling and asking you questions from your rate sheet you were supposed to learn and if you dont know it.. you do pushups and get CHEWED out.
to be honest it was kinda fun but so intense that they are litterally only allowed to do it for thirty minutes because people start to freak out and begin to get dehydrated because of how much you are sweating.
the medics come around and make you drink water...
and occasionlly you get asked really awesome questions like would you rather be a giraffe or an elephant.
and then after those long thirty minutes.
you are soaking from sweat and your whole company huddles together and you have been promoted.
from that point on you got to call all your leaders by their first names.
then you went and showered, it was hands down the best shower of my life.
then you go on a beyond perfect spirit mission.
so as you can see I fell in love with everything about the naval academy.
and this week I will find out if I got a nomination from virginia foxx.
if so that will mean I am triple qualified which will then allow me an excellent chance to get into the academy.
I have to say I am incredibly nervous but also very excited.
I know whatever happens God has me in his hands.
and His plan is best.
but before I go.
there is one more story I must tell.
after drill practice one night my platoon decided to take the long way back to bancroft.
we went through the cemetery.
this was one of the most sombering moments of my entire life.
each of our squad leaders told a story about one grave in particular.
I will never forget any of them but this one was why I believe I fell in love with the academy.
this was told by my platoon leader. chris miller. aka daddy. (:
her name was kristen dickmann.
everyone in her class loved her.
she was great to be around and was a fantastic leader.
she was so well known around the yard because she was so kind.
first class miller knew her very well.
they were plebes (navys name for freshman) together.
and just a week before they were going to climb herndon (a monument that the plebes climb at the end of their freshman year to grab a cap and officially be "plebes no more") she was found unresponsive in her room and died in the hospital a few hours later.
for the first time in the history of the academy they placed a female cover on the top rather than a males.
the entire class of 2011 were devestated.
miller said they had lost a valuable member of the team. and then he corrected himself and said no.... we lost a valuable member of our family.
that is when I realized that the people here were apart of something so much bigger than themselves.
something truly worthwhile.
somewhere where its not all about social status, money, or fame.
somewhere where its about the person next to you.
and the sailors or soldiers you will eventually lead into battle.
and just maybe I will get to be apart of it too.
thanks to all who serve.
in all branches.
america owes you big time.