Riverdale senior prepared to make ultimate sacrifice

By Greg Gelpi

He knows some must sacrifice for the country, and he is willing to make that sacrifice.

Shaun Anthony, a senior at Riverdale High School, received an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy from U.S. Congressman David Scott, D-Atlanta.

"Like I tell people, it's always got to be someone," Anthony said. "If someone's got to make the ultimate sacrifice, I'm prepared for it to be me."

Both his parents were in the military, and he is following in their footsteps, he said.

"We moved around from state to state and country to country, so I just had the mentality," Anthony said.

The second lieutenant in the Air Force Junior ROTC at Riverdale High said he appreciates someone taking notice of what he has done with his life.

"Shaun Anthony is a sterling example of what this country is all about, and he is going to go far," Scott said. "I think what it says is there is great hope and values that we have in the coming generation that we can be proud of."

Too often students are "pulled" in many different directions, but Anthony provides a positive role model for the community to look up to, Scott said.

"They get enough from the others," he said. "They get enough of the gangster rap."

Scott formed the Military Academy Board in November to review the 16 applicants for military academies from the 13th Congressional District. The board had district educators, military personnel and academy graduates.

David Johnson, military academy coordinator for the congressman, said the board used the "whole person concept."

Anthony has been involved in baseball, track, National Honor Society, mock trial, mentoring clubs and basketball, as well as working for Chick-fil-A in Riverdale as a cook.

In the summertime, he worked from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. cutting grass and from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the fast food restaurant five days a week and also worked at the restaurant on weekends, Anthony said.

Military academy appointees must be nominated by a congressman or U.S. senator and must meet eligibility requirements. Nominees must be between 17 and 23 years old, be a U.S. citizen, be unmarried, not be pregnant and have no legal obligation to children or other dependents.

Scott and the board also selected John McKee of Stockbridge for the U.S. Air Force Academy, Maurice Kenner Jr. of Conyers for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, James Henning of Covington for the U.S. Naval Academy and Gyscar Holloway of Ellenwood, Rebecca Lucs and James Wade for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Scott was allowed two appointments to major military academies, rather than the usual one, because his 13th District is newly formed.

The remaining applicants were submitted to the military academies and they will select the second nominee from Scott's district.