Sunday, 31 July, 2005

MMA Summer Camp Graduation

I drove to Harlingen on Friday morning to attend the Summer Camp graduation at the Marine Military Academy.  I wouldn't normally drive down for Summer Camp, but my old friend and former roommate Tim Herndon was there because his neighbors' boy had attended.  That's Tim (LtCol Timothy A. Herndon, USMC) on the left.  Click the picture for a larger view.  Tim graduated from MMA in 1979 and went to the U.S. Naval Academy.  He became a Marine officer, was assigned to helicopters, and now is the Commanding Officer of a helicopter training squadron.  I hadn't seen Tim since 1981 when he came to the Air Force Academy during the Air Force-Navy game.

The guy on the right is Craig Matteson, who is on the Board of Trustees and has made the ride to the school with me the last two years.  Craig also graduated in 1979.  He went to the Merchant Marine Academy, spent four years running ships for the Marine Corps, and then went into business.  Craig is a successful businessman in the Chicago area.

We spent the weekend reliving old times and catching up.  We also spent a lot of time talking to parents of the summer campers, recounting our experiences at the school and telling them how the things we learned at the school have influenced our lives.  Tim says it straight out:  "I am where I am today because of the things I learned at the Marine Military Academy."  I can't think of a better endorsement for the school.

All of the parents I talked with were impressed with the school and with the way that the summer camp had affected their boys.  They said that their boys looked healthier, walked straighter, spoke more clearly, were more confident, and treated others with more respect.  After talking with the boys and their parents, I would strongly recommend the summer camp for any teenage boy.  I especially recommend it if the boy will be attending the school for the academic year.