Will Gilmore is West Point-bound
ENNIS - Will Gilmore has earned some time off.
He just graduated from Ennis High School, the class president and co-valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, Honor Society member, having filled his extracurricular hours with athletics and community service.
But he isn’t taking any time off. Instead, he’s hitting the gym the day after graduation to prepare for basic training.
Come fall, Gilmore will be a cadet in West Point’s class of 2022.
Of more than 13,000 applicants, he’s one of only 1,100 to receive an acceptance letter. And even that wasn’t certain for a while, as he first got a letter telling him he hadn’t made the cut. He’d made plans to attend Montana State University with his twin brother, Charlie, before he received a second letter, this one informing him he was a cadet.
So his plans changed, and he started working out, more than he already does. His football coaches put together optional extra practices for him, and he was joined by every member of his team, which made the semi-final of last year’s championship season.
“I have to really get in shape,” Gilmore laughs. “I have to hit the gym every day and get a lot of running in.” No post-graduation parties for him, even with a three-day holiday weekend.
At last weekend’s graduation ceremony, Captain David Black of West Point’s class of 1984 welcomed the new cadet, emphasizing the military academy’s status among the pantheon of Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
“Will is a great example of the young men West Point seeks to lead the U.S. Army,” Black said in his remarks to the class of 2018. “Always remember, your integrity is your calling card. Stand by it. Lead from the front, and lead by example.” He then turned to address Will.
“Never give up, on yourself, on your teammates, on your community or on your country.”
In his own address, Gilmore credited the support of his family and community with helping him reach this point in his life. He knows his future holds changes, but he is confident in the support system he’s always had. His family is a little nervous to see him move so far away, but the biggest change might be the separation from his twin brother.
“It was weird, because I thought I was going to MSU with him for a little bit,” Gilmore says. “But he’s pretty excited for me. It’ll be different; I think the longest I’ve been away from him is like a week.”
Different, indeed. But Gilmore knows just how much support he has, both at home and where he’s going. With his fellow cadets, he’s prepared for what his future will bring.