Hamman receives West Point nominations
Pocahontas County High School senior Derek Hamman is one step closer to realizing his dream.
“It’s always been a want for me to go into the military,” he said. “I actually want to fly. My true dream would be to fly an Apache Helicopter.”
Hamman began the arduous task of applying to West Point midway through his junior year. After filling out forms, emailing and calling senators Jay Rockefeller’s and Joe Manchin’s offices, he managed to schedule interviews with both senators.
“I was notified about a week after I did the Manchin interview that I received the nomination from him [Rockefeller],” he said. “Then probably a week or so after that I received notification that I got the nomination from Manchin, as well.”
Receiving nominations from both senators is quite an accomplishment, given the fact that Rockefeller and Manchin can only nominate 10 students each per year to attend West Point.
“It was a nice honor just realizing that each of them could only pick 10 people for each academy and I was on both of their lists for West Point,” Hamman said.
Although the nominations will be helpful, Hamman said getting accepted at West Point is still an uphill battle.
“Applying to West Point is like a track race,” he said. “If you mess up on one hurdle, you lose. If you succeed at all the hurdles, you still might lose.”
With that in mind, Hamman has a backup plan, just in case.
“I plan on attending ROTC at WVU,” he said. “I’ve been talking to Major Perales for quite a while and he seems to believe, especially if I succeed in everything and just don’t get appointed, I’ll almost most definitely have an ROTC scholarship through them. Along with that, my ACT score of 28 got me the Rhododendron Scholarship and Promise Scholarship. I have college more than paid for if I don’t go to West Point.”
Hamman, son of David Hamman, is a member of the PCHS football team, track, band and SkillsUSA team. He also belongs to the Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society and Journalism club.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at email@example.com