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BRHS grad: ‘freedom isn’t something we’ve always had’

Published 10:48am Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Midshipman Laura Hill, senior at The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., thanked her lucky stars when she had the privilege to board the aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush, on a cruise out in the Atlantic in June.

She said she was even luckier to be on the ship at the same time as George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and other members of their family while they celebrated George H.W.’s 88th birthday.

“I was assigned to that ship, and I got really lucky with that one,” Hill said. “We spent a couple of days in port in Norfolk, and then we went to pick up the Bushes. It was pretty incredible. We just happened to be there at the right time and the right place, and I just happened to stand next to him in line for a picture. I was really lucky, and that was pretty special.”

Hill, who is a 2009 graduate of Benjamin Russell High School, said she began her career at The Academy in July of 2009 after a long application process, nominations from state senators and a final appointment.

“I can’t believe I made it in, but somehow I did,” Hill said.

During the academic year, Hill is part of The Academy’s 24th Company, and she said she is studying to be an ocean engineer, which she said is basically a civil engineer in the water.

“I wanted to do engineering, and I loved the ocean,” Hill said. “I didn’t really know much about it when I chose it, but it ended up being the best thing ever. I’m totally in my element.”

Hill will begin her senior year this August and plans to graduate from The Academy in May 2013.

After graduation she hopes she will be on her way to Pensacola, Fla., to attend flight school.

She said all of her experiences at The Academy have led her to make this decision, which she feels is best for her future.

And while she has her future in mind, Hill said that foremost she wants to serve her country and remind others the price that it costs to be free.

Hill said that days like the Fourth of July, remind everyone “freedom isn’t something we’ve always had.”

“It’s a privilege to get to celebrate this holiday,” Hill said. “I think it should serve as a reminder to be thankful. While there are those that are at home celebrating, there are people out there serving who don’t get to be home with their families.”

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