EDWARDSVILLE - U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis made a special appearance on Monday, May 3, at Edwardsville High School to congratulate Austin Payne and Jackson Budwell on their service academy appointments. Austin will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy and Jackson will be attending the U.S. Military Academy West Point.

In the top photo, Edwardsville High School senior Austin Payne (center right) and his family with U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (center left) celebrating Austin’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2025. Davis nominated Austin to the academy. Also pictured from left to right are Eric Payne (dad), Julia Schroeder (grandma), Davis, Payne, Victoria Taylor (sister), Casey Taylor (mom), David Taylor (stepdad).

In the second photo, Edwardsville High School senior Jackson Budwell (center right) and his family with U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (center left) celebrating Jackson’s appointment to the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) Class of 2025. Davis nominated Jackson to the academy. Also pictured from left to right are Livia Budwell (sister), Debbie Crisler (grandma), Budwell, and Davis.

U.S. Rep. Davis explained the process of attending a military academy as follows:

"Members of Congress are asked to nominate candidates to the U.S. Service Academies each year, and the number of vacancies for each congressional district is determined by law," Rep. Davis said. "Candidates can be considered for openings at the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Co.), U.S. Merchant Marines Academy (Kings Point, N.Y.), U.S. Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.) and the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.).

"Service academies offer fully funded four-year scholarships to young U.S. citizens who qualify by age and academics, who demonstrate desirable leadership qualities, and who have the wherewithal to strive for excellence in all their endeavors. A four-year education at one of the service academies has an estimated value of approximately $300,000."

For more information or to obtain an application packet for next year’s nominations, contact Congressman Davis’ Normal office at (309) 252-8834 or visit Davis' website.

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