CONYERS — On Feb. 18, Congressman Hank Johnson announced his office nominated 20 students to attend one of four U.S. Service Academies: Military Academy (West Point), Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy and the ROTC Congressional Scholarship Initiative.
Included in the 20 are three Newton County students and two Rockdale County students:
Corinne Hanson, a senior from Eastside High, was nominated for both the Air Force Academy and West Point.
Israel Dixon, a senior at Newton High, was nominated for West Point.
Kijana Knights, Newton High School’s STAR Student, was nominated for the Naval Academy and West Point.
Omari Lewis, a senior at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, was nominated to West Point and the ROTC Congressional Scholarship Initiative.
Brandon Gignilliat, also a senior at RMSST, was nominated for the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.
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. ROTC students receive six-figure scholarship funds as well.
Since 2007, Johnson has helped award appointments worth more than $8 million.
“Please understand that you are the future leaders of the free world,” said Johnson. “You will accomplish great feats and achieve many of your ambitions. Our nation is dependent upon you to do great deeds of service. I want to say congratulations for taking the first step upon the journey to fulfill your dreams. For without you and the service of others I would not be here to serve you today.”
This year’s reception included honoring the late Lt. Col. Rosalind Wallace – a former member of Johnson’s nominating committee — with the Congressman’s Patriot Award, and a medal presentation for Specialist Robert Tamer.
“Not only was she a great soldier, but she was one of our key judges who helped us nominate and get appointments for dozens of students in the 4th District since 2007,” said Johnson. “Service is duty, country, God and family. Lt. Col. Wallace encompassed all these qualities and more. Not only did she serve the nation in the Air Force, she served her community, her family, and was an inspiration to hundreds of young people.”
Johnson told the students who are ready to embark on their service careers that they could look at the lives of Wallace and Tamer as great examples of two people who exemplify the very definition of duty and service.
“Another thread of our nation’s service is Specialist Robert Tamer, the recipient of 10 medals including the Bronze Star,” said Johnson. “I truly believe fate brought Mr. Tamer to my office to help him receive the accolades he so rightfully deserves.”