Walsworth gets accepted

Homer High School senior John Walsworth has had his heart set on being accepted to a military academy. The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., to be exact, with the Naval Academy second on his list, followed by West Point.

Alaska’s congressional delegation did their part to help Walsworth’s dream come true. Sen. Mark Begich nominated him to the Naval Academy and Rep. Don Young nominated him to the Air Force Academy.

When Walsworth, who plays on the Homer Mariners basketball team, was in Barrow recently for a basketball tournament, his parents, John and Naomi Walsworth, received a call from the third member of Alaska’s congressional team, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She wanted them to know she had nominated Walsworth to all three academies. 

“She got quite a kick out of me being in Barrow and told my dad that her congressional peers would find it hilarious what it takes to play a basketball game in Alaska,” said Walsworth.

That wasn’t the end of the good
news, however.

“The next day, while I was in Barrow still, I got an email that was a forward from Don Young’s office that I’d gotten my appointment to the Air Force Academy,” said Walsworth. 

In a room with the rest of the Mariner boys basketball team, some of them getting ready to sleep, Walsworth said he handed the phone to his coach and ran out of the room so he could express his excitement.

His appointment has since been confirmed by the academy, where he will report for basic training June 28. 

“It’s really exciting and also kind of intimidating,” said Walsworth. “It’s one of those things that people say are the four hardest years of their lives, but also the smartest decision of their lives.”

The letter of confirmation noted the scholarship’s dollar value at roughly $450,000.

“The idea of being able to graduate from college with not only a very prestigious degree, but also without any debt is amazing,” said Walsworth. “On top of that, I’ll have a job for as long as I want one in the military.”