Representatives of the Newtown Township’s Veterans Committee honored two 2018 graduates of Council Rock North for their acceptance into United States military academies at last week’s meeting of the Newtown Township supervisors.
Matthew Whalen, who spent last year attending his freshman year at Wake Forest University, is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy, and Andrew Cabo, who attended Northwestern Preparatory School, is going to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The students were nominated in January 2018 and again this year to compete against their peers across the country for spots in military academies.
“Each year, the (military academies) accept only 1,100 to 1,300 students,” said Peter Chong, who coordinates Military Service Academy appointments for Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. “To have two students from Newtown get into these prestigious academies is a big accomplishment.”
Chong handed the incoming candidates from Newtown American flags folded in military style.
“During (your time at) the academy, you know it’s going to be a hard time,” he said. “Look at these flags and know that the people of Newtown have your back and the people of Bucks County have your back."
Service academy nominations are recommended to Fitzpatrick by his nomination committee, which includes active duty, retired military and family members of service academy graduates from across the First District.
“I encourage everyone to pursue military service – yes, there is personal sacrifice involved, but it is also an opportunity unlike any other. As a military member, you will receive training that is second to none in the world and gain responsibility at an age that is incomprehensible to sane people,” said USAF Lt. Col. Susan DeGiovanni (Ret.), of Solebury, an Air Force Academy graduate and member of Fitzpatrick’s Nomination Committee. “You will do things you can’t even imagine doing and you will build camaraderie that isn’t possible anywhere else. You will be a part of something larger than yourself that will change your life forever. From the stories you shared with us during your interviews, I know you have service in your blood.”
“For the parents, I know this is a big sacrifice,” added Chong. “Your sons are paving the way for the next generation of leaders and are an inspiration.”
Flags representing each branch of the military the young men will be serving were placed on a display in the public conference room. Yellow ribbons will be placed around those flags, should the men be deployed.
Board Vice Chair Linda Bobrin added that the township was honored to recognize the men and looks forward to the day they complete their service to their country.