Vanden senior bound for West Point – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

His hair freshly cut, clad perhaps a slightly ill-fitting uniform, Vanden High senior Cameron Castillo on July 3 will raise his right hand and take the Oath of Allegiance, entering the West Point class of 2021.

He will be among some 1,250 plebes, or freshman as they are known at the United States Military Academy, who will recite the oath on the sprawling parade grounds, on the granite bluffs above the Hudson River, about an hour’s drive north of New York City, where he will begin the grueling seven-week Cadet Basic Training, commonly called “Beast Barracks.”

In an interview last week, Castillo, who will turn 18 in June, told The Reporter he had just recently received his acceptance letter into the storied co-educational federal service academy, with its long list of graduates who are household names: Grant, Lee, Sherman, Pershing, Patton, Eisenhower, Bradley, Westmoreland, Aldrin, and Schwarzkopf.


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