Carl Wunsche Sr. High School Class of 2023 graduate Thomas Saenz has been working hard for years to make his Air Force dream a reality, and now it’s officially here.
“Everything I’ve done in my life has been working towards the Academy,” Saenz said, “from my martial arts career to my academics to Civil Air Patrol, it’s all been focused on getting into the Air Force Academy so I can accomplish my dream of being a fighter pilot.”
When he opened his United States Air Force Academy acceptance message – the culmination of a months-long process of seeking an official congressional nomination, applying and interviewing – he could hardly believe his eyes, even though he knew how hard he had worked to earn that success.
“This is a dream that I’ve been fighting for for years, and now it’s here, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Saenz recalled. “I just kept reading that word over and over again in slow motion: ‘Congratulations.’”
After graduating from Wunsche this past weekend and walking the stage at Planet Ford Stadium, Saenz now begins his final preparations before reporting to Colorado Springs as a first-year cadet – or “doolie” – at the United States Air Force Academy, where he plans to study Aerospace Engineering and hopes to follow in his late grandfather’s footsteps as a fighter pilot.
Asked for any advice he had for others intent on making their own dreams in life come true, Saenz knew just what to suggest.
“Whatever you do,” he said, “give it your all, and you’ll see results!”