‘Cruzing’ to the U.S. Navy: Coast student ready to set sail after double graduation
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Allie Cruz is an 18-year-old from Long Beach. She’s spent a lot of time lately mulling over the military academy appointments she received from the Air Force Academy, the U.S. Army at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Both my parents served in the Air Force,” Cruz said. “When I was 10, I got to go to a family day out at Keesler Air Force Base with my dad and got to see all the houses and the community and what they do. I realized this is what I want to do. All those people bond together to serve their country. That’s their one common factor.”
Cruz also received Congressional nominations, meaning she could choose which service academy to attend. We’re told the academies only accept 8-10% of the candidates that apply.
“After experiencing all the culture differences and the career opportunities, for me, the Navy was the best option,” she said. “I’m incredibly thankful for that. My calling in life is to serve, that is my bottom line, and that’s why I applied to all the academies.”
Cruz went Navy, even though her parents both served in the Air Force. She’ll set sail on that adventure soon. For now, Cruz is getting set for two graduations. This week, she gets her Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Associate’s Degree. Next week, she graduates from Long Beach High School. That feat is possible through dual enrollment and the Collegiate Academy.
“I can’t let myself think too far ahead because there are so many great things that are happening right now and that have happened and that are coming up,” she said.
Cruz also has excelled working at the Centennial Plaza pool, and she starts off each day with a CrossFit class.
“I never thought I would get to this point, but I’m extremely grateful that I have,” Cruz added.
She tells us when she gets to the Naval Academy, she plans on studying cryptologic or cyber warfare.
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