Michael Martinez, graduated from LaBelle High school in 2015 and is currently a Senior Cadet at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Normally cadets are released to go home to their families the day before Thanksgiving day but there is an option for cadets to increase their total leave time by participating in hometown visits through West Points Public Relations Council, in order to represent the academy in their respective hometowns.
The West Point Military Academy was founded in 1802 by President Thomas Jefferson. It is the nations’ first military academy and considered to be the world’s premier schools in leadership excellence. The West Point academy focuses on the academic, military, character and physical development of each cadet to best prepare them for the leadership challenges and opportunities in the US Army. The graduates receive a commission into the army and owe a minimum of five years of active duty service and three years in the US Army Reserves. This commitment to serve is intended to repay the $450,000 worth of investments into each cadet during the course of their four year cadet career.
“I am a first generation American,” Martinez explains, “my parents were both born in Mexico and after having my sister and brother, they decided to come to America in order to give their children a better life and a better hope for the future. Two years later I was born and we moved to LaBelle when I was five years old. Now in a few short months, I’ll be graduating from the most preeminent leadership institution in the world, and words can’t describe enough what it feels to almost be done.”
“It is especially an even greater honor for me,” Martinez goes on, “considering that not only am I a first-generation American, but also the first in my family to attend college and for me to receive a degree from such a distinguished institution while serving the country that has given me the opportunity to do so makes it all the more special. I can say with full confidence that I am proud to be able to represent primarily my family, my beautiful hometown of LaBelle, and certainly the United States Military Academy.”