For this week’s Veterans page, I chose to interview a young man who is not yet a Veteran but will be down the road. Currently, our California 25th Congressional District has a whopping 35 residents attending America’s military academies. Please meet one of these courageous young people, 19 year old Ian Caddow, a patriotic American who has an unwavering grip on meeting his life’s goal which is to become a United States Marine Corps infantry officer. Millennial Generation Serving America As a 19 year old, I received my greeting letter from Uncle Sam inviting me to become an infantry rifleman. Joining the United States Army was not my choice but I proudly followed my father’s footsteps in serving my country. In telling young Ian’s story, it provides me the perfect opportunity to express my appreciation to Ian and all of our young people who courageously choose serving our country in the military while pursuing their own American dream. While the millennial generation is often criticized, many are true blue American patriots who are preventing our warrior class from disappearing. Home Grown Native Ian Caddow is a City of Santa Clarita home grown native; he was born October 28, 1997 at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia. Ian grew up in Saugus graduating May 28, 2016 from Valencia’s Trinity Classical Academy where he excelled in academics and played basketball and football. It’s noted that Trinity Classical Academy, which is grounded in the Christian faith, was founded by Ian’s, father and mother. Wally and Liz Caddow started Trinity in 2001 with 28 students growing steadily each year to their current 575 student body. Wally and Liz had a dream to provide a rigorous college preparatory education, steeped in the classical tradition and taught through a distinctly Christian worldview. By all accounts they are providing a tremendous service to our community. Trinity Knights Ian and Spencer Klehn were quite the athletes for Trinity. On November 31, 2013, Ian and Spencer were on Trinity‘s CIF-SS Division II eight man football championship team for that beat Joshua Springs 47-0. Spencer was the star of the game with 4 touchdowns. Just 4 months later, on March 8, 2014, Ian and Spencer also teamed up for a CIF Championship leading the Knights to the CIF-SS Division VI basketball title with a 77-52 victory over Desert Chapel. Ian was the star of that game with 37 points (7 for 9 three point shots) and 6 rebounds. Semper Fi As a junior at Trinity, Ian began considering attending either The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York or The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Ian was inspired to attend a military academy by his fellow Trinity linebacker buddy, Spencer Klehn who is a current West Point cadet, Class of 2018. Ian applied and was accepted by both academies, but after attending summer introductory courses at each academy, Ian chose Annapolis. This decision cemented his desire to become a Marine Corps infantry officer. When asked, why it’s so important to become a Marine infantry officer, Ian said, “Semper Fi, once a Marine always a Marine and being an infantryman simply resonates with who I am”. Fighting 25th The route to attending America’s military academies is indeed challenging and seriously competitive as rigid qualifications are required. All candidates must be sponsored by a House of Representative Congressman and in this case Ian’s father, Wally Caddow said, “Congressman Steve Knight’s effort has been unbelievable. Sending California’s 25th District young men and women to military academies is one of Congressman Knight’s very highest priorities”. Steve Knight is continuing the 25th District’s proud tradition established more than 20 years ago by his predecessor Congressman Buck McKeon sending an abundance of cadets and midshipmen each year from the Fighting 25th to America’s fine military academies. Ian just concluded his first semester at Annapolis and he is pumped. He’s invigorated by Annapolis’ challenging academic curriculum and their rigorous physical training courses as he was well prepared at Trinity Classical Academy. Warrior Class Another Trinity student, Caden Kulp who graduates this year, recently received his nomination to the United States Air Force Academy from Congressman Steve Knight and is awaiting acceptance. If Caden is accepted and chooses the Air Force, that would make three Trinity students currently attending military academies. Resulting from former Congressman Buck McKeon’s efforts along with our current Congressman Steve Knight, our 25th District contributes more than its share in maintaining America’s freedom. It is truly impressive realizing rock-solid patriotism exists so predominantly in our community and that so many young citizens are preserving America’s warrior class. Bill Reynolds is one of the “Boys of ‘67,” Charlie Company, 4th/47th, 9th Infantry Division and director of veterans affairs for The Signal.