Monday, November 3, 2008

Jerri, Peter Anthony & Leif - US Air Force Academy - May 1991

We were extraordinarily proud of Peter Anthony's acceptance to and graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and no doubt visits to the Academy while Leif was in junior high and high school continued to excite him about a career in the Air Force like his brother, though Leif wasn't willing to compete academically for a spot at the Academy. I don't know whether at that time he had thought about Air Force ROTC, but I do know how much he wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force.

Ironically, Peter A. hadn't pursued an appointment to the Academy specifically to become a pilot, but he did become one, and that route was barred to Leif due to his nearsightedness.

This photo was taken of me, Peter Anthony and Leif in May 1991 when we were in Colorado Springs at the Academy for Peter Anthony's graduation. It was gorgeous weather and we had a wonderful time. There were ceremonies, parades, dress balls (fancy dances) and more. We flew there from Puerto Rico and were joined by my mother, my brother Donovan, and my sister Lannay, as well as friends from Hawaii and more. Note Leif's signature Oakley sunglasses.

Peter Anthony is still serving his country as an Air Force officer and is now a lieutenant colonel.

By this time (1991), Leif could dream about the Air Force in other ways, but he already knew he could not fly. In earlier visits to the Academy, I'm sure he still ahd those dreams. Leif was just completing his sophomore year in high school in this photo and was 16 years old.

Leif could easily have starred academically. He was brilliant, and he could get through school, including college, without taking notes or studying. He hated studying and homework and all the things that went with achieving academically, and he aimed for a B average and that's what he got.

His reasoning was that he wanted to be above average (and get the good student discount on our auto insurance that we told him he had to have if he wanted to drive), but wasn't willing to put in the time and effort to get As. He wanted to spend his time on other things, or as he put it, "to have a life."

We could never convince him to do otherwise, and it's a shame, because he wanted to meet "smart people," but didn't want to get into the kinds of classes or activities were he actually could do so. He would have been outstanding in several fields as long as he could do the practical, actual things of the work world, but he could never get there because he wasn't willing to punch the academic tickets needed.

He admitted one time that he probably should have gone into science, for his mind excelled at scientific concepts, but he wasn't willing to take the math courses required.

How I wish that today's world would have had more possibilities for a man like him with a mind and abilities but without a formal education to get him in the door. (He did have a bachelor's degree in general social science, but that is not a degree in demand in fields that would have been good for him.)

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