A young man from Hilliard will be attending West Point this summer.

A young man from Hilliard will be attending West Point this summer.

"My R-Day (reception day) is June 28," said Alex Bastoky. "The class of 2014 will be reporting."

Bastoky has just finished his sophomore year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he's majoring in diplomacy and foreign relations. But he'll be starting all over as a plebe at the United States Military Service Academy in West Point, N.Y.

He explained how he was able to attend the academy.

"I got hurt playing football my senior year (at St. Charles High School) and was unable to finish applying to the academy, and wasn't eligible, so I went to Miami University. After my freshman year, I got involved with Army ROTC at Miami, and then about August of last year, began applying to West Point again."

Bastoky said he applied for congressional nominations.

"A member of Congress has to legally nominate a candidate for the academy," Bastoky said. "There are a specific number of slots the academy has, and a member of Congress either a senator or a congressman or the vice president can nominate a number of candidates for a certain slot. Before anyone can be offered admission to the academy, they have to have a congressional nomination.

"(U.S. Rep.) Mary Jo Kilroy's office was very helpful," Bastoky said. He received the appointment in late March.

"This appointment is an exceptional opportunity for students like Alex, who has proven himself a responsible, disciplined young man with strong academic abilities and leadership skills," Kilroy said. "Ohio's finest receive these appointments and I wish him the best of luck."

Bastoky said he'll study defense policy and homeland security, as well as counterterrorism and Arabic. He might play football again, but if not, he'll still be active.

"Every male plebe has to box, (as well as) gymnastics and swimming. That's the regimen. Army has one of the best boxing programs in the country. They want you to be in shape."

Bastoky, who will be 20 when he sees West Point for the first time, wants to pursue a career as an Army officer.

"It was something I got out of St. Charles. It really focused around the concept of service, being able to make a difference as part of the bigger picture of the Army team. Being able to make a difference, even from a small unit, platoon level, being able to shape events on the bigger scale, and do some good."

Naturally, he's excited.

"It's an opportunity like nothing else. What got me interested in the academy was not only its tradition and history, but the training opportunities for future officers are unrivaled anywhere."