CHARLESTON - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Thursday that he will nominate 34 West Virginia students to the U.S. service academies, which include the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
"I am so honored to recommend 34 of our state's brightest young men and women to the U.S. service academies," Manchin said. "All of our students worked hard to earn these nominations and are determined to serve our country and some are striving to carry on their families' proud military heritage as well. A nomination to one of these service academies is such an honor because these institutions are developing the next generation of military leaders."
The students are from the following counties: Pocahontas, Grant, Lewis, Berkeley, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mason, Marshall, Marion, Mingo, Monongalia, Ohio, Putnam, Ritchie, Taylor, Wyoming and Wood.
"Our selection process was extensive, from grading students' classroom performance to leadership abilities to their work in their communities," Manchin added. "I am confident that these young men and women will make our state proud and as always, I wish these students the very best in their future endeavors."
Manchin is recommending the following students to the service academies. Final admission is determined by the respective academy.
Air Force Academy: Ryan Graf, Jefferson High School; Quentin Buckley, Poca High School; Chris Unger, Langley High School (father stationed in Virginia), from Ohio County; Andrew Bruffy, West Virginia University, from Monongalia County; Skyler Terrell, Parkersburg High School; Alex Brown, Martinsburg High School; Nick Marcum, Scott High School; Adam Pauley, Petersburg High School; Jon Massile, Point Pleasant High School; and David "Jonah" Sneeringer, Winfield High School.
Military Academy at West Point: Samantha Harris, Charleston Catholic High School; Katie Warner, University High School; Derek Hamman, Pocahontas High School; Kelsie Burns, Huntington High School; Sean Dennison, home school, from Lewis County; Andrew Parker, Wiesbaden High School (father stationed in Germany), from Monongalia County; Cameron Davis, Westside High School; William Mohr, Petersburg High School; Daniel Gaston, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (father stationed in Germany), from Ritchie County; and Michael Palkovic, West Virginia University, from Ohio County.
Naval Academy: Joseph Gentile, Hedgesville High School; Caleb Moore, Doddridge County High School; Christian Smith, Home School, from Kanawha County; Luisa Holland, Jefferson High School; Mason Winkie, Bridgeport High School; Tyler Lucas, Tug Valley High School; Raymond Isner, Grafton High School; Forrest Welsh, WT Sampson High School (father stationed in Cuba), from Marshall County; Jack DeVault, East Fairmont High School; and Alec Buchmelter, Brooke High School.
Merchant Marine Academy: Caleb Barnette, George Washington High School; Charlie Hageboeck, George Washington High School; Kimberly Smith, Jefferson High School; and Kyler Martin, Hedgesville High School.