September Career Day in Upper School

By Judy Boomhower

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On September 10th, my students and I were honored by a visit from a hero. To make this visit even more meaningful, this hero also happens to be family.   Sergeant Michael Sargent spoke to us about his experiences as a U.S. Army Green Beret and about his plans for the future.  The day before had been his last as a soldier in the regular army, although he remains a member of the U. S. Army National Guard.

He graciously answered all of our questions, the funny ones and the tough ones. He talked to us about his decision to join the Army after college, describing the motivation of September 11th, and the long tradition of military service on both sides of his family.  He eloquently spoke of his belief in the importance of service to one’s country and to one’s fellow citizens.  Then came the tough question.

What was your hardest day when you were stationed in Afghanistan? Michael spoke softly about the first full day of being “in country” and being called to the scene of a convoy that had been the victim of an IED attack.  When he arrived, Michael found that one of the dead soldiers was a team mate.  But, as bad as that was, his day was about to get worse.  It was his regular Skype day with his mom, our own Jennifer Sargent.  He had to pretend that all was well, to spare her the worry that would result if she knew about his friend.

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At that point in his story, one astute student asked him if this was the first time Mrs. Sargent was hearing this story. He nodded, yes.

On a lighter note, he shared his plans for the future. Michael has started his MBA program at the University of Virginia, Darden. We wish him well, and we thank him for his visit and for his service.

We also hope he will return again soon to Academy Schools!

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