I was looking around recently and realized that earlier this month, I reached the ten-year mark as a member of Service Academy Forums! TEN YEARS! How did this happen?? Ten years! For you new folks just coming on board, I was in your shoes back then: didn't really know what my kids were getting into. OK, they were smart and athletic, but how would these two homeschooled kids from a backwater stack up against kids from all over the country, who had every opportunity? Who had smarts, skills, opportunity, encouragement? Should my kids pursue a nom/appointment Service Academy? (And just what are these nominations? appointments?) Just how far from the Steeler Nation is Colorado, anyway? What is different about a Service Academy from a "regular college?" As I scrolled through the threads (a lot even back then), asked questions, made friends (probably some enemies, but we do try to be kindly here),I learned A TON. Later, I was able to answer some questions, offer tiny slices of advice and commentary (sure to amuse and offend, that). Ten years out - My kids are now ADAF captains - "living the dream." For them, a successful career path relatively assured, security for their families (wives + 2 kids each - so far!!!), lifelong friends, sound and valuable education. Were there moments - even longer periods than "moments" - when they entertained doubts? Sure. When asked now, both would say they can't imagine "college" anywhere else. For this mom, SAF has been a tool of infinite value. Questions asked/answered, discussions - sometimes heated, sometimes hilariously funny, and ok, sometimes boring. For parents, both knowledgeable and those coming in cold, this is a place to learn, to discern, to argue, to evoke, to ponder, to regret, to extoll, to enjoy, to love, to remember, to smile. To say nothing of: getting through the paperwork! If the "Powers that Be" don't mind, I hope to continue here, watching the newest batch of young people, looking forward into an unknown future, preparing for the adventure of their lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Service Academy Forums, for bringing peace of mind to this mom, for disseminating information hard to find anywhere else, for getting all of us through the rough patches. Like those young adults served here at SAF, you are all "The Best of the Best!"