Alek Kauffman living out boyhood dreamPublished 3:04pm Friday, May 24, 2013
By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist
Men and women join the military for different reasons. Some join for the education benefit, some for pay plus free room and board, some to travel and some to learn new skills. For U.S. Army Specialist Alek Kauffman, it’s continuing a family legacy.
Kauffman was born in Germany when his father was stationed there on an army military base. He moved several times prior to entering Calera High School his freshman year. He joined the army following graduation in 2011 and spent 27 weeks in basic and military police training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He now serves as a military policeman at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Serving in the army was Kauffman’s boyhood dream. “Both my dads were in the army and my mom went to the Air Force Academy for awhile,” Kauffman said. “My grandmother is a retired army major and my grandfather a retired colonel. My grandfather went to West Point and graduated third in his class — he’s pretty much the reason why I wanted to go. I was raised to believe that serving your country is your patriotic duty.”
There are two ways to enter West Point: directly after high school with a congressional nomination or a service-connected endorsement from your battalion commander.
Kauffman chose the latter because he first wanted to know what it was like to be a soldier and to prove his abilities and leadership. He has been selected to enter West Point Prep, a premier West Point training school for cadet candidates.
Shannon and Patrick Day are extremely proud of their son.
“I’m so very proud, but truly not surprised because whenever Alek sets his mind to doing something, he always pursues it until it’s completed,” Shannon said. “He’s very goal driven and focused. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my son.”
Kauffman reports to the academy July 23. “I’m undecided about my major, maybe accounting,” he said. “My sophomore and junior years I placed third in the state accounting competition. My senior year I placed first or second in the accounting and marketing competition. I’d also like to be a sports physician. I love working out, training, nutrition and diets.”
Mollie Brown is a community columnist for the city of Calera and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.