What a joy it was to see all of the students from both of these academies. Not just as they stood on the football field before the game. Which was absolutely amazing. Giving us a chance to reflect on their hard work and dedication, if just for a moment. But watching them interact; mutual respect; leaders and warriors recognizing the blood, sweat, and tears, sleepless nights, overwhelming emotions, endless deadlines being met, and high standards being exceeded. You could see it in their eyes and the way they walked, talked, and listened. The calm expectation of excellence in themselves, and those lucky enough to be in their presence. The patient acceptance of others not as polished or well versed. You could hear their humility as they spoke. They clearly understood, that although one person can and will make a difference. That one person never did or does anything by themselves. Rather, that one persons actions are the result of his or her beliefs, values, support, experiences and mentorship. You could see their gratitude for having good mentors and meaningful experiences. It was clear as I walked around campus and talked to the students and faculty that purpose, direction, and motivation are certainly provided. I couldn't help but wonder how far their influence will spread. The number of lives that will be improved because of their examples; the number of business practices that will be improved because of their wisdom; the number of communities that will be improved because of their leadership. Guess that might be why a service academy is so highly regarded and a service academy graduate is so highly respected.