I grew up in a blue-collar family in CT so there were not a lot of college options for me. I was my Congressman’s 1st Alternate and his Primary Nominee had accepted his appointment, so I was totally unsure what my college future was going to be — or if it would exist at all! One week prior to 1 July 1965 I received a letter in the mail informing me that I could enter West Point with the Class of 1969 as a Qualified Alternate. (Thanks to JFK for asking the question that led to the increase in the size of the Corps of Cadets so that it equaled the Brigade of Midshipmen at Annapolis.) Despite having grown up in CT, I had never visited WP until my Mom & Dad drove me there on 1 July. With visions of “The West Point Story” dancing through my head I eagerly said goodbye to my parents and unwittingly launched myself into Hell! What a shocker — I was totally unprepared. As William Bendix used to say on the Life of Riley, “What a revolting development this is!” I had some serious misgivings during Beast, BUT staying the course was the best decision that I ever made, and I have had a far better life than I could ever have dreamed of! Perhaps most importantly of all, I am immensely proud and grateful to be a part of the brotherhood that we all share!! Thanks for sharing your stories of “Day # 1 of our joint journey”; I have enjoyed & appreciated every single one of them! We are all incredibly lucky and blessed in so many ways!!!