Students seek appointments to US military academies

WARREN — Two Trumbull County high school students will vie for spots in U.S. military academies.

U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, announced the 13 students from his congressional district who have been nominated this year at a ceremony Saturday at the Trumbull County Veterans Service Commission.

“Your responsibility is to take this opportunity and turn it into something magnificent,” Ryan said.

Michael Schaefer of Howland High School is nominated for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and Andrew Addy of Hubbard High School is nominated for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Schaefer, 18, said he was inspired to pursue a military career after taking a trip to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy his sophomore year.

“I realized I was a small fish in a big pond,” he said. “I wanted to be something bigger than myself, and for that I needed a calling … Being an officer in the Navy, I’d be something larger than myself, becoming a bigger man and a better person; you can create a better world.”

Schaefer said his grandfather, William March, also was an influence. March served in the Army during the Korean War, and lived with the family for a short time before his death when Schaefer was in first grade.

“Every day before school, he would always tell me to be a good man,” Schaefer said. “His last words to me were, ‘Mike, you need to be the best man possible.’ Because of that, I truly believe that going into the military was my best route.”

He chose the U.S. Naval Academy because of the variety of paths that would be available to him. He also said he believes the military will give him a foundation in leadership that he can use to help change the United States.

“When I see a problem in front of me, I want to see if I can fix it,” he said.

Schaefer’s parents, Chris and Maria Schaefer, both said they were proud of him, although his mother admitted, “I had mixed emotions (at first). It was such a huge commitment.”

Addy did not attend Saturday’s ceremony.

Matt Vadas, a constituent liaison for Ryan, said at least one student from the district is guaranteed an appointment, but the spots are highly competitive, and a nomination is no guarantee of acceptance.