By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Denham nominates local students for military academies
Maria Martinez
Maria Martinez is one of 16 students who were nominated by U. S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) to attend one of three prestigious military academies. Martinez hopes that with this nomination she will be accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she will pursue a Foreign Area Studies major. - photo by Photo Contributed

Maria Martinez admits that when her dad first introduced her to the United States Air Force Academy she was not interested.

However, when she actually began to look into the academy herself, she quickly became enchanted with all the possibilities it had to offer her. A factor that played a huge role in swaying the former Turlock resident was the Foreign Area Studies major.

“I love learning about other languages and cultures,” said Martinez. “The academy has so many opportunities for me to be involved in foreign areas and that is my passion.”

Now, thanks to a nomination from U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), Martinez’s dream to attend the academy is one step closer to becoming a reality.

“When I found out I was nominated, I was so relieved and ecstatic because it really goes a lot towards my future,” said Martinez.

Earlier this week, Denham announced the names of 16 students from California’s 10th District who would earn the title of 2014 service academy nominees to the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, U.S. Military Academy in New York, and U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

“The Valley is home to so many talented young people,” said Denham. “Each of these individuals has demonstrated an admirable desire to learn and to serve our nation, and their contributions to their communities deserve recognition. I look forward to seeing each of them succeed far into the future.”

To garner the representative’s nomination, Martinez and the 15 other students who were selected had to first go through a rigorous application and interview process. Factors that led to an applicant’s success include academic achievement, leadership ability, physical aptitude, participation in extra-curricular activities, and character demonstration.

“This is a big factor on whether or not I will be accepted into the academy,” said Martinez. “If they see that there is someone of high authority that is willing to back you up and nominate you, that says a lot. This nomination shows a whole lot of support and shows some credibility to who you are.”

This year's nominees are:

 Bryce Lew – Manteca – U.S. Naval Academy

Ga’Lhiel Dillard – Modesto – U.S. Military Academy

Tanner Goudeau – Modesto – U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy

Brent Sordo – Modesto – U.S. Air Force Academy

Logan Eaton – Oakdale – U.S. Naval Academy

Jose Martinez – Patterson – U.S. Military Academy

Brooke Sanpei – Patterson – U.S. Air Force Academy

Nathaniel Gagnon – Ripon – U.S. Military Academy

Justin Armijo – Ripon – U.S. Military Academy

Michael Brown – Tracy – U.S. Military Academy

Anthony Cabri – Tracy – U.S. Air Force Academy

Kyle Hewitt – Tracy – U.S. Naval Academy

Maria Martinez – Turlock – U.S. Air Force Academy

John Moody III – Turlock – U.S. Air Force Academy

Joseph Johnson – Waterford – U.S. Air Force Academy

Ellis Valdez – Waterford – U.S. Military Academy