Over the weekend I visited West Point Military Academy to see Chad’s brother play in his first scrimmage. He got a full scholarship to play football at ARMY and left for Beast (boot camp) at the end of June.
Catching up over his first meal off post, Jack King (# 23) shared stories of the past few weeks and it brought me back to Ft. Leonardwood 2 years ago when I flew to Missouri to watch my brother, now SPC Kyle Brasington, graduate from bootcamp. Aside from the obvious physical changes- their shaved heads, lean bodies, proper posture- they both seemed to have endured greater change. They carried themselves differently, with a more positive outlook. They possessed a drive stronger than before.
They told stories of training that sounded challenging and new friendships that sounded exciting. While reflecting on my experience with Kyle and reliving it with Jack, there remained a constant. These young men were dedicated. Dedicated to themselves, their families, their country and their goals. They possessed a quality or maybe strengthened a quality they already had within themselves. They became Leaders.
The American pride oozing from the sea of new cadets paired with Team USA crushing #rio2016 Olympics, made me feel proud that Anjé is Made in America.
I asked Jack if training consisted of constant talk about America and serving our country. He explained that it was quite the contrary because everyone knows what they are there for. They have already made the commitment to their country so the focus is on leadership and character. Army teaches and emphasizes leadership qualities because it takes those skills to defend our country and to be a successful fighter, in combat and in life.
In support of our family & friends that serve our country, our Olympians in Rio and to the companies that manufacture in the USA, cheers and thank you! Thank you for being leaders, fighters and champions.