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America’s future generations are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. Depending upon whether you’re asking a child or a teenager, answers will vary from “a princess” to “a firefighter” to “a lawyer” or even “the president.” However, as we prepare America’s children for the future, when is the last time someone asked them, “how will you serve your country?” From volunteering in your local community to running for elected office to serving in the armed forces, service can embody a different meaning for everyone.

As students in our district begin to dream about where their individual paths will take them, I urge them to consider applying to one of the United States Service Academies. The opportunity to nominate exemplary students to the United States Services Academies is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. The four academies accepting Congressional nominations are West Point in New York (Army), the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland (Navy and Marine Corps), the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado (Air Force) and the Merchant Marine Academy in New York (Merchant Marine). The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not accept Congressional nominations, but my office is happy to provide additional information.

Each year, my office receives many applications from outstanding young men and women who seek to serve their nation. An appointment to a United States Military Academy can be a positively life-changing experience, and I am happy to play a small part in supporting the next generation of military leaders. For students who may be interested in the application process and nomination timeline, please contact my office in Jefferson City at 573-635-7232. The application process for Congressional nominations for the class of 2024 is open through Oct. 31, 2019.

An appointment to one of our military academies guarantees the opportunity to gain a first-class education while answering the call to serve our nation. These young people are making an important commitment by agreeing to put their fellow Americans before themselves. They are the future heroes of the United States and a point of exceptional pride for our district and the great state of Missouri.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., shares his perspective each week on national issues, including ones that affect Missouri. He represents the state’s 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 635-7232.

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