LHS graduate completes basic training, begins life as cadet at West Point
WEST POINT, NY – The beginning of a school year traditionally finds college freshmen packing their bags and preparing for campus life and the adventures that await them when they leave home. Saying goodbye to family and high school friends, and embarking on a new journey is a perennial scene that invokes excitement for students, and a sense of pride for parents.
As the annual trek to college unfolded this year, a graduate from Legend High School could be found in the Acceptance Day Parade at West Point – a tradition that welcomes new cadets at the military academy into the “Long Gray Line.”
Madison Turner was among the 1,200 freshman cadets who arrived at West Point in July for a six-week interval of basic training at Camp Buckner. It was then that Turner officially started the new chapter of her story, a story that came to life with a visit to West Point in the summer of 2013.
Acceptance into the 2013 Summer Leaders Experience at West Point gave Turner the opportunity to experience what the life of a cadet entails. The weeklong program of academic classes, military training, physical fitness training, and intramural athletics provided affirmation for Turner that she was destined to pursue a military education. Turner began the arduous application process, which included securing a congressional nomination.
Turner’s mother, Karrey Turner, was certain that Madison would reach her goal. “It was her determination to make it through that led to her acceptance,” she said. “She has worked for five years to do this. I know, and Madison knows, that a lot of the classes Legend High School offered allowed her to accomplish this.”
Among those classes is Chinese, a language that Turner speaks fluently. Additionally, advanced placement classes in Biology, Calculus and Chemistry have laid the groundwork for Turner to advance her studies into the field of chemical engineering.
Turner is excited to branch out into the military environment, and has found a diverse array of qualities among her fellow cadets, 17 of which have already served in combat.
“I was known as ‘that smart girl’ in high school. Everybody has left that behind and we see each other for who we are,” Turner reflected.
Moving forward, Turner and her fellow cadets will are now focused on who they will become. West Point encourages participation in extracurricular clubs, which range from sports and academics to hobbies and religion. Turner has found several activities that match her interest, including the Jazz Forum, the Crew team, where she will be rowing year-round, a Christian fellowship, and the Women’s Society of Engineers.
Turner has already reached a notable milestone – she passed her first SAMI (Saturday a.m. inspection.). “They really do come in with a white glove,” Turner’s mother shared. Mrs. Turner has no doubt that passing the inspection was symbolic of the many accomplishments the future holds for Madison.
“As parents, we worked very hard to set a strong family foundation for both of our daughters and Douglas County School District gave them both opportunities for academic success,” Mrs. Turner reflected. “With those foundations, we are excited to see the path Madison goes with her military career and life.
PICTURED: Madison Turner with Legend High School Assistant Principal Jason Jacob on graduation day. (Jacob is now the LHS principal.)