The great state of Ohio has produced more than its fair share of heroes who distinguished themselves in the United States Armed Forces, whether on the field of battle or the exploration of space.
From Ulysses S. Grant to Simon Kenton to Eddie Rickenbacker, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, James Lovell and Judith Resnick - just to name a few out of thousands - the Buckeye State's contribution to our nation's military endeavors, exploration, and space program has always been a source of pride.
Maybe our strong Midwestern work ethic or our inherent sense of national pride inspires Ohioans to tackle the biggest challenges. Maybe our status as the birthplace of flight stirs countless young men and women to a higher calling. Neil Armstrong, who I've been honored to get to know and call a friend, said as much once when he remarked, "As a boy, because I was born and raised in Ohio, about 60 miles north of Dayton, the legends of the Wrights have been in my memories as long as I can remember."
Whatever the reason, our nation has never had to look further than the Buckeye State to find those individuals who exhibit the sterling qualities of leadership, and the sense of adventure needed to turn the biggest dreams into reality, and rise to any occasion.
That's why I am particularly honored that as a United States Senator I have the privilege every year of nominating a few of Ohio's top young achievers for entry into one of our nation's military academies, including the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, Merchant Marines Academy and the Coast Guard Academy.
This is a great opportunity for young Ohioans. Our military academies provide the education, training and leadership skills proven to provide each branch of the military with the best, brightest and most dedicated officers in the world. Their ranks are made up of individuals from every walk of life, whether from small towns or big cities, tiny rural schools or large metropolitan school districts.
If you are a junior in high school and you are inspired to serve your country in this way, please contact my office.
To be considered for nomination, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen and legal resident of Ohio, and, by July 1st of the year of admission, be at least 17 years of age and not past their 23rd birthday. If you are interested, please contact my Service Academy Coordinator at 1-800-205-6446 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to receive an application. The deadline this year to have your application completed for our office is Friday, Oct. 7.
Our country's freedoms and liberties are guaranteed by our Constitution, but they are defended by the men and women who proudly wear the uniforms of our armed forces. Our service academies are second to none in providing the tools needed today to produce the leaders of tomorrow.
Rob Portman represents Ohio in the United States Senate.