YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Lakeland High senior, two-sport captain, and Honor Society VP Kevin Moore recently got the news that he's been accepted to attend the prestigious West Point Military Academy, and when Daily Voice reached Moore this week, he admitted he was feeling a lot of emotions.
"It's exciting. ... It's just something I've never felt," Moore said. "Everyone is surprised, excited. My parents are ecstatic. It's definitely a great feeling."
Of course, there is some fear of the unknown. "It's tough to be a high school senior and you won't have your summer vacation," he admitted. "Instead I'm going into the military. I think it would be a bit intimidating for any 18-year-old. But I'm excited about it.
"I think it's the way to be the best possible version of myself," he added.
Moore, a captain on the varsity football and wrestling teams (and an All-League pick in both sports), is set to start his adventure on July 3 - Reception Day (or R Day).
"For me, this is the way to go about it," he said. "It's definitely an interesting challenge, really a new level of being the best person I can. After that, I may go into engineering. I have time to think about that."
Naturally, Moore's mom also has some mixed feelings. "It's an honor," Kerri Padilla Moore said. "We're patriotic... but I do love my son, and at times his dad and I kept our mouths shut - that was for him to make that decision.
"It's a huge commitment," she added. "But we love him, support him and we're happy for him. Of course, there's always that little 'mother' piece - that wants to be protective of my son. But I have to trust in God that he'll be protected."
Moore said part of his motivation to serve came from his experience being a captain on the Lakeland wrestling team. "When I first became a captain on the wrestling team I got my first taste of leading," he said. It was a good feeling."
He also likes the idea of doing something positive for the country. "You're there for a different purpose than going to regular college," he said. "You're doing something more for your country. My Grandpa was always a role model, too, he served and I always looked up to him."
Moore received nominations from Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and had to complete many essays during the year-long application process.