I received an e-mail yesterday from a colleague whose DD (class of 2020) received her TWE this week. It brought back a flood of memories from this time last year when my DS (Class of 2019) received his. It caused me to take a moment to reflect on that time and what our family went through. I thought I would share my post from that day (my birthday last year) for those of you who are still waiting or have received bad news. I was responding to a question regarding our location in regards to the competitiveness of students living close to military bases... "I absolutely don't mind answering your questions, as I wondered the exact same thing about every TWE that has posted. You nailed it! We are in Pensacola...hello cradle of aviation! And, between two major Air Force bases. So, heavy military kid competition here. The reason I believe he didn't remain more competitive among that group is for a couple of reasons. Even with a 4.0, he still was not in the top 25% of his class. I also believe his test scores could not hang with others. His composite ACT was a 29. He had to take the test five times to get the math up to a 26 (which put him in the stadium but not in the game) His English/Language was a 29, again, not what this area was seeing. Too bad they don't look beyond those two scores because his 32 in Science was of no consequence. He is taking Calculus and Physics Honors (strong A). Also, his letter said they are only offering 1132 appointments this year. Even though we knew he wasn't 'above and beyond' academically, we were definitely one of those families who were hoping for the whole candidate score to play into it. He was triple nominated and is a world class competitive sailor, captain of his varsity team, wrestler, track, competitive CFA scores, attended NASS and his father is a USNA alumni. He was completely finished with his entire package (CFA, Medical, Nomination, all of it) by September 1. Again, hoping for points for being completed early. So, in the end, I would say he would have likely been looking at an appointment if we lived in a different location but that will not be his reality. I don't think he is the type that will try again. He will likely close this chapter of his life and embrace the next one. His goal is to commission and that will happen. I will say this to those who are still waiting. There is no way to prepare for that moment. You've played the scenario over and over in your mind. " Will I come home from work, gym, Target and see a big fat envelope leaning against the front door? Will my son/daughter get a call from his MOC and call me next? Will I open the mailbox door, hold my breath, and scan each envelope slowly until I find that TWE?" When your eyes fall upon that return address "United States Navy 'Office of Admission', US Naval Academy" you will have a split second of excitement because your brain isn't quite registering what you are looking at. Then, it will be followed by a second or two of the most unexplainable peace as the acceptance washes over you and the unknown has ended. THEN, you will get that kick in the gut that will wash over you in waves throughout the evening as you determine how to let your hopeful know. In our case I had to play out our (previously determined) 'plan TWE'. Many candidates will have different reactions to the news. Let's just say there are few days as a parent that were as hard to watch as that moment. That big tough boy, in a man's body, held his composure while his eyes reflected a completely shattering heart. I have no doubt that composure crumbed later on his pillow. You will likely cry before your child does because the pride you feel for them in that moment will be overwhelming. And we are SO proud of them because they gave it ALL THEY HAD. If you are lucky enough to have a child with the grace that comes from being an official candidate for admission to the US Naval Academy, you will get a text at some point the next morning that says, "Happy Birthday Mom, just wanted to let you know that I am at peace this morning." And then, you'll cry again. " Update: One Year Later That same kid is now completing his freshman year at Florida State, is an active member of ROTC and has cheered an entire football season as a co-ed cheerleader for a Div. 1 football team. He did re-open an application for the class of 2020 but in time, let it expire. He said he is 'home' and on his way to advanced standing in his ROTC program and will commission in 2019. Go Navy- Go Noles!