SUPER SURPRISE. U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster surprises senior Grayson Gordon with an appointment to West Point. photo/Morgan Rowland

For senior Grayson Gordon, getting into his desired college was not just a relief, but rather a life-long dream come true. On April 16, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, appointed Gordon to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“[Getting accepted to West Point] is really exciting because it’s something I’ve wanted since middle school. It’s cool to have my dreams become actualized like that,” Gordon said.

In middle school, Gordon’s father asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He answered that he wanted to make money and be successful. That week at church Gordon heard a sermon, which contained the Francis Chen quote, “Your greatest fear should not be failure, but of exceeding in things that don’t really matter.” After hearing that, Gordon realized that what he had been focused on, money, did not matter.

Gordon choose to go into the army because of his strong belief in the “the freedoms and liberties that makes America what it is.”

“I’m joining the Army because I love people. I even love you specifically. You hardly know who I am beyond my name and where I’m going to school, but I’d fly overseas away from my family, my friends and the people I love, then put myself in danger and ultimately take a bullet for you, specifically. Just you,” Gordon said.

Instead of a more traditional route of the Army’s Officer Candidate School, he chose West Point because of the connections that help students become effective leaders. These connections include the high ranking army generals, foreign presidents and training opportunities during the summer.

While at Boone, Gordon prepared for his future service by being a member of Naval Junior Rescue Officer Training Corp, which offered him the chance to try out different roles without any permanent commitment. Although it did not offer any direct curricular help, the environment was beneficial.

“You’re given progressively greater amounts of responsibility as time goes on. The capacity to recognize that responsibility, and what you do with it, that’s where you learn. It’s the experience,” Gordon said.

His full ride to West Point comes with a commitment: five years of active service and three years in the reserve. Active service is a full time job of being in the army, with the possibility of being deployed anywhere around the world, while being in reserve requires training a single weekend each month.

After that, Gordon plans to serve as a general in the army, and then a congressman. Eventually, he hopes to become president. Gordon believes his values will set him apart as he is rooted in a firm desire to serve for the greater good, not any ulterior motives.

“Government is full of people trying to do the right thing for themselves. They forget that their job is to love the people of the United States so well that they do the right thing for us. Being a West Point cadet and an Army officer will further instill the ideals that I have and further ingrain my purpose in serving people through leadership to make me the most effective elected member of government,” Gordon said.

By Thomas McDonald

Web Editor in Chief

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