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Central Graduate Embarks on New Journey with U.S Air Force

A Central High School graduate accepted a nomination, from Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When Nicolas Russell was in eighth grade he dreamed of attending the U.S. Air Force Academy.

He joined JROTC as soon as he stepped foot on Central High School's campus four years ago and that decision helped turn his dream into reality.

"I decided if I wanted to be an officer in the Air Force, why not become the best officer that I could be," he said.

He is a recent Central graduate and was one of 16 Missourians who accepted nominations from Missouri Senator Roy Blunt into U.S. military service.

"That day, Nicolas so happened to answer the phone when the call came and it was Senator Blunt on the other end and he said, 'Congratulations'. You have a slot in the Air Force Academy,'" said Bill Russell, Nicolas' dad.

"I was really happy and that was a good day. Yeah, relieved, big stress off my shoulder," Nicolas said.

Nicholas says achieving his goal was not easy.

"Just the fact that I am going to the Air Force Academy itself, it makes me feel great," he said.

"I'm very happy and proud and excited because he's getting ready to start this adventure but a little nervous about what's to come," his dad said.

Though his parents have mixed emotions, they fully support his decision and say they are ready for Nicholas' new chapter.

"It's going to be different but it'll be alright because we know that Nicolas has wanted to do this for such a long time," said Bill.

"It's been a long road and I'm happy that I've finally come to the end of it which is also the beginning of it for four years there," Nicolas said.

Nicholas starts training in Colorado Springs this week.

He plans to be a pilot and study aerospace science.

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