BRYAN, TX — Bryan High School student Charles McLaughlin, or Charlie as he’s known to his family, will be heading to Annapolis, Maryland, in June to join the ranks of the United States Naval Academy.
A small ceremony was held Thursday morning to celebrate McLaughlin's decision.
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who attended the celebration, received an application from McLaughlin last year and elected to formally appoint the Bryan teen to the prestigious military college.
“This is a victory for this community, and the United States Naval Academy will be the recipient of one of their greatest young stars that is headed their way," Congressment Sessions said as he shook the McLaughlin's hand.
McLaughlin’s teachers, classmates and family members joined him in the high school cafeteria to celebrate his accomplishment.
His grandparents say through all his years of hard work in groups like the Boy Scouts, and with his dream of military service, such an achievement is no surprise.
"One of my favorite memories is being on the top bunk with him in his bedroom," said Darlene McLaughlin, recalling a time when her grandson was just 4-years-old. "He’s got a map of the world on the wall right next to the bed, and he’s got a book open with military uniforms that he’s memorized.”
Charlie McLaughlin says while he did consider West Point as a second option, he applied to the Naval Academy because the opportunities for him there seem boundless.
"I could go to flight school, I could go Marine Corps, or I could go surface warfare and be on a ship," he said. "It’s the number one public school in America. It has a great environment, Annapolis is a beautiful city, and all of that really just appealed to me.”
As a military officer, McLaughlin says he would like to be in a position of leadership on a naval vessel, though he’s also interested in becoming an aviator.
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