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Grads bound for service

Posted: June 10, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 10, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Local military academy appointees from left: Nicholas De La Flor, of Valencia; Breanne Aronin, of Acton; Ashley Welker, of Stevenson Ranch; and Sam Peckham, of Valencia, after being recognized at the 2012 Service Award Luncheon held at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center in Valencia on Saturday.

Congressman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, hosted a lunch for 11 military academy appointees from the state’s 25th Congressional District at College of the Canyons on Saturday.

“These students have proven to be among the most competitive students in the nation,” McKeon said in a news release. “They have worked hard and have proven to be among the best the nation has to offer.”

The 11 appointees will report to their respective military academies over the next month for summer training before beginning their freshman year.

Spc. Nicholas De La Flor, 22, of Saugus, hopes his experience as a current active-duty soldier will help him and others through any rough spots at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point New York, he said.

“This will be the third time I’ve gone through a basic training-type environment but I know I’m going to need help and so will others,” he said. “You have to be a team player in this environment if you want to succeed.”

Hart High class of 2012 graduate Sam Peckham, 18, will leave for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis June 25. Class starts June 28, he said.

“I’m pretty excited ­— it’s a really fantastic opportunity and I’m the first of my friends around here to take off,” Peckham said.

Peckham, of Valencia, is leaving his options open, but said he hopes to become a “mechanical or aerospace engineer.”

“To receive an offer of appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy or U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, an individual must apply to the academy of choice, and apply for a nominating source,” McKeon said in the release. “These sources are the president, vice-president and U.S. Congressmen.”

Prior to being selected to attend a military academy, each the appointees underwent a series of evaluations, physical fitness tests and interviews,

McKeon gave each appointee a U.S. Flag that had previously flown over the Capitol and a signed certificate of appreciation.

Other Santa Clarita Valley military academy appointees as the lunch were Breanne Aronin, Tyler Dimson and Ashley Welker.


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