Rep. Hank Johnson nominates two Newton County students for U.S. Service Academy

Congressman Hank Johnson announced his office nominated 35 students to attend a U.S. Service Academy at a special reception Feb. 4. At the ceremony, World War II veteran Val Archer, who served as a Tech Sgt. with the Tuskegee Airmen, was on hand at the reception to join Congressman Johnson in taking pictures with the Service Academy nominees. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON — On Feb. 4, Fourth District Congressman Hank Johnson announced his office nominated 35 students to attend a U.S. Service Academy: West Point Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy and the ROTC.

This year’s 35 nominees are the most for any single year nominated by Johnson. Two students were nominated for the Merchant Marines, 14 for the Navy, seven for the Air Force, 10 for West Point and 12 for the ROTC.

Out of the 35 nominees, two represent Newton County: Jaison Taylor from Newton High nominated for the Navy and Jordyn Bonds from the Newton College and Career Academy also nominated for the Navy.

The Congressman’s office will announce official service academy appointments between May and June.

Every year, members of Congress nominate students to attend the nation’s military academies. Those nominees who are accepted into the academies are awarded four-year scholarships that include tuition, books, room and board, medical and dental care. The average award per appointment is worth $425,000.

The 12 ROTC students will receive scholarship funds that total $120,000. “Each year, I consider it an honor to send you off on your journey to our esteemed institutions where you will be educated, trained, and inspired to help shoulder the wheel in defense of our nation,” said Johnson to nominees. “All of you are outstanding young people, and you have the kind of leadership skills necessary to be successful in school, business and in life.”

This year’s reception included a special guest who is the embodiment of black history. and their families.

“I want to thank Mr. Archer for his service and commitment to our great nation,” said Johnson. “This night is very special to me because I know that the young people here with us today are some of the future protectors of our prosperity and freedoms that make this nation great.”

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Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.