Weekly Column: The Next Greatest Generation

This winter I had the privilege to nominate nine students from Arkansas’s First Congressional District to a U.S. Service Academy. The academies provide a world class education to their students, and a nomination to an academy can be life-changing. The young men nominated are not only brilliant students, they also have given much to their communities and deserve recognition.

• Jordan Reed from Cabot will graduate 7th in a class of 686 and is active in scouting, FFA and Quiz Bowl.

• Weston White from Blytheville will graduate first in his class and was elected Lt. Gov. at Boys State and is active in Future Business Leaders of America.

• Sully Bigger from Walnut Ridge is first in his class, is on the track team and participates in cross country racing.

• Clayton Carpenter from West Memphis will graduate 3rd in a class of 362, and has lettered in Baseball and Football where he was an academic all-conference player.

• Robert Raper from Colt is a Cadet in the Naval Junior ROTC where he holds the position of Cadet Company Commander. Robert has also accrued hundreds of volunteer hours in his community

• Andrew Morgan from Mountain Home is a two time All-Conference Academic selection. He was selected and attended the 2011 Naval Academy Summer Seminar.

• Sean Gavan from Cabot is a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC where he holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander and Logistics Commander. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

• Jack Baltz from Pocahontas is class president and active church member. He is ranked in the top 10% of his class and a letterman in Baseball, Football and Basketball

• Daniel Kyle Payne from Violet Hill was selected for the American Christian Honor Society and serves on the student council and is Captain of the Senior Basketball team.

These young men are proof that America’s Greatest Generation is not just a story of our nation’s past. With each new generation of Americans our national spirit is renewed. It is an honor to represent young men and like these who embody the hope and purpose that define our great country.

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