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Why I Serve: Cadet Credits Dad, JROTC Instructor

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2004 – "My senior Army instructor brought forth the military academy idea. I pursued it, and it ended up being the one college that I pursued the most," said Cadet First Class Jessica C. Tomazic.

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Cadet First Class Jessica C. Tomazic, far left, of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., was recently honored as one of four Hispanic American women in the U.S. military academies' classes of 2005 as emerging leaders in the Latina community. Also pictured with Tomazic, from the left, are Cadet First Class Cindy Nieves, U.S. Air Force Academy; Cadet First Class Lily Zepeda, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; and Midshipman First Class Maia Molina-Schaefer, U.S. Naval Academy. Photo by Rudi Williams
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Tomazic, a senior at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., pursued an education at the academy after being involved in Army Junior ROTC at her high school in Lorain, Ohio, where her interest in the military blossomed.

She's one of four Hispanic women military-academy cadets honored as an up-and- coming leader in the Hispanic community during the recent National Latina Symposium here.

She said her ex-Marine father, Jim Tomazic, an electrician, encouraged her to seek opportunities in the military.

Not only did Junior ROTC foster Tomazic's interest in military service, it also fostered her interest in becoming a doctor. From her high school sophomore through senior year, she organized a toy/Band-Aid drive for the children's hospital located near her hometown.

"The greatest feeling I had was seeing the smile on those kids faces when we could make their day a little better with some simple Sesame Street Band-Aids," said Tomazic, who was on her high school crew, rugby and cycling teams and in the Spanish and Russian clubs. "This has really made a huge impact on my desire to become a pediatrician."

An art, philosophy and literature major, Tomazic said she's applying for medical school now and hopes to become a pediatrician after military service.

"I figure the unique experiences here would make me a better doctor," said Tomazic, who has held various leadership positions at the academy, including platoon sergeant and first sergeant.

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Related Sites:
U.S. Military Academy
Why I Serve

Related Articles:
Magazine Honors Military Academy Hispanic Women



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