Fairland High School graduate going to West Point

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — In about two weeks, 18-year-old Nolen Love’s life will change forever.

The lifelong Rome Township resident and graduate of Fairland High School will embark on a new journey that few teens have the chance to experience: that of a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Love, FHS summa cum laude graduate, said the reality of moving to the academy has not really hit him yet. But he said he is excited about the challenge that lies ahead of him.

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“It’s like I’m leaving everything I’ve ever known. But, it’s such a good opportunity,” said Love, who wants to be in the infantry. “They instill such a good work ethic, confidence and leadership. I know when I get out of the academy I will be able to do anything I’ve ever wanted.”

The self-proclaimed history buff said he idolizes Gen. George Patton, the infamous World II military icon, and President Dwight Eisenhower for their military prowess. He said his love of the military and the strategy used in military operations started at an early age and led him to apply to West Point, as well as the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was also accepted.

The teen admits that he has always been aggressive and loves competition both physically and academically.

While in school, he was a member of the National Honor Society, math and Spanish clubs and also received the Outstanding Citizen Award at Buckeye Boys State.

Love also played varsity basketball, baseball and football before a knee injury sidelined him. He has since recovered and will be able to meet West Point’s policy of requiring every cadet to participate in a sporting activity.

Love is the son of Rick and Cheri Love. His mother said she always believed that her son had a bright future. She said he was always fascinated by the military and knew he wanted to be involved with it in some way.

“I’m very happy about it (being accepted to the Academy),” Cheri Love said. “But, it’s going to be hard in some ways.”

She said she is concerned about her oldest son and what lies ahead. This includes strenuous physical training, limited visits and contact with family members and — what could possibly be the worst aspect — six weeks of silence during his initial time at the academy.

“It’s a different culture there,” Love said. “But I think it will be great.”

Love leaves for the Academy June 24.