|Sam, standing in Memorial Hall|
When my oldest son, Sam, was a junior in high school, I took him to United States Naval Academy in Annapolis because he wanted to see the campus. He wanted to know if it was right for him, if he could see himself attending this military academy. We stayed with my great uncle Hugh and his wife, Dixie. On the second day of our trip, we toured the campus and visited the admissions office. And then we went to a football game. We had my uncle’s fifty-yard line tickets. My great uncle Hugh and his younger brother, Frank Robinson, both attended the academy. Unfortunately, my grandfather, who is Frank Robinson, died in an airplane crash while in a training exercise. My mother never got to meet her father. Inside Memorial Hall at the Naval Academy, they have Frank Robinson’s name etched into stone. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He is next to his mother and his father.
|Memorial Hall, with Frank Robinson's name etched in stone. |
|Frank Robinson's gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery|
|Frank and Hugh's parents at Arlington National Cemetery|
But while we were at that football game, and each company was marching out onto the field, Sam turned to me and said, “Mom, I want to go to school here more than anything. I’m going to do everything I can to get accepted.”
And he did get accepted. It was an eighteen month admission process, but he is there now and doing very well. He was the first person to ever get accepted into the Naval Academy from his high school, Dana Hills High School. Next year, he has to decide where he will serve. There is no tuition when you attend a military academy. Everything is free, however, the student pays back the cost of the education by serving in the Navy. Sam has decided he wants to be a marine pilot. That commitment is twelve years because the training is three years and then because the cost to train the pilots is so high, they expect at least nine years of flight service.
I am very happy for Sam. I know he will be a wonderful pilot and I know he will serve the United States of America, his country, very well.