(The picture below was taken by Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant and posted to WP's FB page. The first half below was posted by a FB friend (parent of current WP cadet); the second half is how Alix responded after the picture was posted. Alix branched Aviation.) This recent West Point graduate is Alix Idrache. He grew up in a slum in Haiti, where he recounts seeing the most depraved acts take place on a daily basis. He tells the story of how US soldiers were deployed to his neighborhood following the earthquake there several years ago. He says that their presence was the first instance of hope he recalls in his childhood. He remembers looking at his dad and asking him who the people were that were helping. His dad looked at him and said, "they are American soldiers." He looked back at his father and said, "then one day, I will be an American soldier." His father knew the situation in Haiti was unworkable and tried for several years to obtain a visa to come to the United States. After being denied for several years, he was granted a spot in Baltimore. He purchased a ticket on a boat for his family and left Haiti. They arrived and Alex, remembering the moment in the slum several years prior, looked for a way to join the US Army. He found a national guard program that allowed him to join the Army in exchange for citizenship. He didn't hesitate. After a series of fortunate occurrences, he was given one of the few spots at West Point for prior enlisted soldiers. Despite his severe lack of formal education, he graduated last week as an honor graduate (top 5% physically, militarily, and academically), and the top student in the Physics Department. This picture was taken just prior to tossing his hat in the air, the realization of a dream he started 10 years prior in a slum in Port-au-Prince. ----------------- "I want to thank everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments on this picture. SSG Bryant captured a moment that I will never forget. At this moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Three things came to mind and led to those tears. The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me. The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath. Men who preserved the Union is a dark period of this country's history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism and nazism. Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers. The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to FT. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you."