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Military service academy sendoffs

They want to be flyers, intelligence officers and command a destroyer one day. Six students gathered at Congresswoman Lois Frankel’s Boca office Monday before leaving for their respective military academies.

All but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy require congressional nominations. Frankel nominated 26 students from her District this year, 11 were appointed to academies.

“This is very exciting,” Frankel said to greet three men and three women gathered around a table. “We’re getting there,” she said about the women joining the ranks soon.

Frankel asked for each student’s take on current events and what could affect their careers. Iran. Immigration. Confrontations with surface ships, they said. “Let’s hope you never have to see wars,” she said.

The students were soccer, tennis, flag football and baseball athletes.

At the Boca Raton district office of Congresswoman Lois Frankel were students bound for military service academies. From left, Jacob Baughman, Carlie Niedzwiedzki, Kierstein Eggers, Faith Southwick, Frankel, Matthew Moore and Jeanoh Jean-Baptiste.

Kirsten Eggers graduated from Chris Evert Tennis Academy in West Boca and was already plugged into the tennis team at West Point.

Only one was in ROTC. Most had family connections to the military. A parent, a cousin, a brother. “I always admired my father,” Carlie Niedzwiedzki said about her choice to attend the Air Force Prep School.

Why did they pick the military? “I wanted to serve since I was 11,” said Faith Southwick, headed to the U.S. Naval Academy.

“My family is Haitian and I want to give back,” said Jeanoh Jean-Baptiste, going to West Point Prep School.

 “I always wanted to be a pilot,” said Jacob Baughman, leaving soon for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

All the students were looking forward to travel. “My son was in the Marines all over the world,” Frankel said.

The other students are Jonathan Middlebrooks, Skylar Hansrote, Matthew Core, Kellyann Indyk and Grant Laman.

By Marci Shatzman

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