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Battle Mountain grads launch military careers

Special to the DailyArwyn Becker of Eagle-Vail graduates from the U.S. Naval Academy and heads to service on the U.S.S. Kidd.
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EDWARDS ” Arwyn Becker and Taylor Roach have faced many challenges over the last four years ” and have responded with achievement after achievement.

Becker, of Eagle-Vail, a senior at the Naval Academy, has earned at 4.0 grade point average for the last three semesters.

She’s won a Patriot League championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

She’s even performed with the glee club at the presidential inauguration and the Vatican.

With graduation upon her, Becker is ready for her next challenge: a five-year commitment to serve in the Navy. She will be commissioned as an ensign and will be assigned to the U.S.S. Kidd, a destroyer stationed in San Diego.

“The past four years, as difficult as they’ve been, have taught me a lot about myself and things I want to accomplish in the future,” said Becker, who will graduate with a degree in honors economics. “There are just so many different things the academy tries to throw at you ” the physical, scholastic, and military parts of it. Each different thing taught me a lot about myself.”

At the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Roach has collected a similarly impressive list of accomplishments.

The Edwards resident is set to graduate this week and enter flight school as a second lieutenant at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas. After flight school, which takes about two years, he’ll embark on a 10-year commitment in the Air Force.

Roach will graduate from the academy with a bachelor of science in systems engineering. During his four years at the academy, he’s traveled to a military base in the United Arab Emirates and completed an internship at defense contractor Raytheon in Massachusetts.

Roach ” a decorated ski racer while at Battle Mountain High School ” was also captain of the academy’s ski team, leading it to the nationals this year.

“It’s been a long four years, but it was worth it,” Roach said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”

He applied to the academy because he wanted to fly planes. He still has that desire t be a pilot” “it’s an exciting thing to be,” he said ” and he has also gained an appreciation for the structured nature of military life.

Each days’ schedule could include assemblies, common meals, classes, military training and studying.

“It’s definitely more conducive to getting work done,” Roach said. “It keeps you focused.”

Becker said the U.S.S. Kidd will probably take her all over the Pacific. She expects to serve in the Middle East, too, acknowledging the dangers there but citing a “higher calling” to serve her country. Roach said he also expects to serve in the Middle East in the next several years ” something he knew was a possibility when he applied to the academy four years ago.

Both Roach and Becker said their respective academies have helped put their own life goals into focus.

“It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll take with you for the rest of your life,” Roach said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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