Congressman Jason Smith hosted service academy appointees and their families during a sendoff celebration held Sunday in Ste. Genevieve.
The service academy appointees honored included, Reagan Miller and Caleb Steele, attending the U.S. Naval Academy; Brendan Reese, attending the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Lucas Manion, attending the U.S. Military Academy (West Point).
“It is one of my greatest honors to nominate these outstanding young men and women to serve in our country’s finest academic and military institutions,” Smith said. “These families have so much to be proud of and so much in common. We wanted them to have the chance to get to know each other and celebrate their children’s achievement together.”
Manion’s parents expressed their appreciation for being able to get to know other parents of military academy appointees from the area and have the opportunity to talk about this unique, exciting process.
“This is nothing like we have ever experienced before and we are so proud and excited for Luke,” said his father, Brian Manion.
All four academy appointees talked about what an honor it was to serve their country.
Reese and Steele told Rep. Smith that they hope to become pilots; Manion said he intends to serve in a “boots on the ground” role; and Reagan Miller spoke about her desire to be part of something bigger than herself, which led her to the Naval Academy.
“Military academies offer some of the best education in the world,” said Smith. “You’ve already proven yourselves here at home and now, you’ll be starting all over again in a new place. I have every bit of confidence that you will do well.”
The congressman encouraged the appointees to visit him in Washington, D.C. and to keep him informed of their achievements as they begin their life journey.