Area students pursue education, service at US military academies

WARREN — Tracey Ryser graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1995. Her husband, William, is an Army veteran, and their son, Jacob, is in his second year at West Point.

Their daughter, Sarah, hopes to continues the family’s tradition of military service at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I tried to get my daughter to go there (West Point),” Tracey Ryser said. “I thought it would be fantastic for them both to be together, but no, she wanted the Naval Academy.”

Sarah, 18, a senior at Girard High School is one of 11 students from the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, and one of four from Trumbull County who have been nominated to attend one of the national military academies. They were recognized at a ceremony Saturday at the Samuel E. Lanza Veterans Resource Center.

It wasn’t rebellion that inspired her to apply to Annapolis. Sarah Ryser said she fell in love with the Naval Academy when she attended a program last summer, and she believed it was the best branch for the fields she is interested in — chemical engineering and aviation.

But she admitted she is looking forward to a little competition with her older brother.

“He knows I’m better, so this will just rub salt in the wound,” she said, adding that next year’s Army-Navy football game will be, “Ultimate sibling rivalry.”

Saturday’s event recognized step three in a four-step process. The students first filled out applications and then went through multiple interviews before being chosen as one of the nominees. Now they must wait to find out whether they will be accepted.

Ryan praised the students who have made it this far in the process, but he also praised their families.

“I have a very deep appreciation for the work the parents have done to get them to this stage,” Ryan said. “The fact that your kids are here and want to live a life of service speaks volumes about you and what you’ve done.”

Herman K. Breuer, director of the Trumbull County Veterans Service Commission, talked about the history of military service in Ohio, which has the sixth largest veteran population in the country, and northeast Ohio in particular.

“You guys are walking in shoes that are going to be hard to fill,” he told them.

Many of the students talked about how public service was important to them.

Jordan Mason, 17, a senior at Warren G. Harding High School said, “I’ve always wanted to go into the military. It’s very honorable to get to serve something bigger than myself.”

His father, Don Mason, said he was proud when his son told him he wanted to apply to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“He’s always been selfless,” the father said. “It really wasn’t a surprise.”

Noah Monahan, 18, a student a Champion High School and Trumbull Career & Technical Center, said he believes a career in the military will have a positive impact on all aspects of his life.

“I’m really looking forward to developing as a person in the military,” he said. “It will pay off in many ways.”

Students nominated

The 11 area students from the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, nominated to attend one of the national military academies are:

• Callen Aulizia, Boardman High School, son of Daniel and Jennifer Aulizia, U.S. Naval Academy

• Dominic Carone, Streetsboro High School, son of Tony and Beth Carone, U.S. Military Academy

• Marissa Davis, Valley Christian High School and U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, daughter of Cicero Davis and Melanie Freeman-Cooper, U.S. Military Academy

• Samuel Madden, Theodore Roosevelt High School, son of James and Leslie Madden, U.S. Military Academy

• Hayden Maderitz, Girard High School, son of Kendell Stauffer and Marla Maderitz, U.S. Military Academy

• Jordan Mason, Warren G. Harding High School, son of Donald and Pamela Mason, U.S Air Force Academy

• Noah Monahan, Champion High School and Trumbull Career & Technical Center, son of Timothy Monahan and Kimberly Orr, U.S. Air Force Academy

• Ian Murphy, Ursuline High School, son of Stephen and Leslie Murphy, U.S. Military Academy

• Sarah Ryser, Girard High School, daughter of William and Tracey Ryser, U.S. Naval Academy

• Thomas Searle, Firestone Community Learning Center, son of Robert and Carrie Searle, U.S. Naval Academy

• John Subick, Ellet High School and Stark State College, son of Michael and Lisa Subick, U.S. Air Force Academy