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Opinion

Honoring service to our country

Bradley Byrne

By Rep. Bradley Byrne
U.S. House of Representatives

On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and officially adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Signing this document was no easy task for the 56 signers. By lending their name to it, they were risking their personal safety, as well as that of their families. A number of the signers would also go on to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

These days, we mark the Fourth of July with fireworks, trips to the beach, cookouts, and family vacations. These give us a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and loved ones, but I want to encourage you to also remember the sacrifice that led to the creation of our nation and the freedoms we hold dear.

This includes the service of those who served in the military, from the Siege of Boston to the Battle of Gettysburg to the shores of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan. These individuals put their lives on the line in defense of the United States of America.

The sacrifice also includes the efforts of leaders over the course of history, whether they be political leaders or civic leaders, who helped shape the course of American history. Individuals who made difficult decisions or stood up to the status quo. Individuals who put country over self.

That record of leaders, service, and sacrifice lives on today in the individuals who chose to serve in the greatest fighting force the world has ever known – the United States military.

One of my favorite parts of the job as Congressman is being able to nominate young men and women to attend one of our nation’s military service academies. The admission process to these academies require a nomination from a congressman, senator, the Vice President, or the President.

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I am thrilled to report that eleven young men and women from Southwest Alabama recently earned official appointments to US service academies after receiving a nomination from my office.

The students are:


• Joshua Andrews, from Davidson High School, received an official appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

• Jacob Dean Asher, from Bayside Academy, received an official appointment to the United States Naval Academy.


• Barry Booth, from Spanish Fort High School, received an official appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

• Keller Farni, from Murphy High School, received an official appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

• Phoebe Alexis Lee, from Mc-Gill Toolen Catholic High School, received an official appointment to the United States Military Academy.

• Triston-Norman Marasco, from Spanish Fort High School, received an official appointment to the United States Naval Academy.


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• Jamie Martin, a homeschool student from Foley, received an official appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

• Sarah Morris, from UMS-Wright Preparatory School, received an official appointment to the United States Naval Academy.


• Marshall Peyton Spires, from St. Paul’s Episcopal School, received an official appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

• Joshua Tarr, from Gulf Shores High School, received an official appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

• Gracie Whiston, from St. Paul’s Episcopal School, received a Presidential appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.


These individuals from Southwest Alabama represent our country’s future military leaders, and there are undoubtedly other individuals from our area who will go on to serve as leaders in their own respective fields.


So, as we celebrate the founding of our nation, may we take time to reflect on the individuals – past and present– who have sacrificed and served our country. May we never forget the role they played in the American story.

Just as important, may we also realize the American Story is still being written each and every day.

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Bradley Byrne is the president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and a former Republican congressman who represented Alabama's 1st Congressional District.

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