Greenbrier High School senior Travis Bisch might be ribbed by his U.S. Army father for wanting to enroll in the U.S. Naval Academy, but his family is still proud of his decision to serve his country.
Travis, the son of Fred and Tana Bisch, of Evans, has long wanted to be in the military. As a young boy, he was captivated by the commercials promoting the Army, and the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, solidified his desire to enlist.
"I've always wanted to be in the military, but I wanted to be a Marine," said the 18-year-old, who served as battalion executive officer of his school's JRTOC program last semester.
Travis is one step closer to his dream of receiving an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., thanks to a recent nomination from U.S. Congressman Paul Broun.
To be considered for the nomination, Travis underwent intensive interviewing by members of Broun's selection committee, which comprised one person from each branch of the military.
"I was pretty pumped up when I got it," Travis said of the nomination.
Word of an appointment could come in the next month.
"Travis is one of the very best cadets we have had in our Navy Junior ROTC Unit here at Greenbrier High School," said Robert Brewer Jr., the senior naval science instructor at the school and a retired navy commander. "He exemplifies the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment. He is intelligent, physically fit, fair, honest, well-mannered and courteous; a model young American citizen."
Brewer said that should Travis receive an appointment to the naval academy, he will do well.
"His dream is to become a Marine Corps infantry officer," he said. "He is a great young American. It has been a pleasure to be one of his instructors."
Aside from his service to the JROTC, Brewer said Travis' commitment to other school and community projects is outstanding.
Travis is working on becoming a certified personal trainer as part of his senior project.
Travis said he goes to the gym almost daily, a regimen that came from his desire to "beef up" some and not be the smallest student in his class. During his freshman year, Travis bought a home weight set and later that year became a member of an area health club.
"The really good thing is when you stick with it, you start seeing the change," he said of his workouts.
Being physically fit is only one component to enduring what the military puts you through. Travis knows that being mentally prepared is just as important.
"I was over in Germany on 9-11," he said. "I realized that you can't be scared."
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