FAIRFAX, Va. - A Fairfax teenager is celebrating a huge and rare accomplishment. Tim Park has been appointed to all four main U.S. military academies and it is an honor for the high school senior who is following in the footsteps of his family members.
Being appointed to the United States Coast Guard Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the United States Military Academy is a rare achievement. The Trinity Christian High School student told us that the accomplishment is "almost surreal." But it is something this 18-year-old has been working toward since he was very young.
"I would say when I was about 8 years old, there was a documentary on the History Channel talking about these four service academies and I thought to myself that day, I want to do that," he recalled.
But Park's mother said she noticed his desire to serve even before that moment.
"In fact, I remember even younger than that age when we actually took him to Hawaii and we explained the whole history of how Japan attacked Pearl Harbor," said Jenny Park. "I just saw the look on his face and that forever changed. Then I could tell from then on that he really wanted to serve."
The will to serve was also in part inspired by his grandfather. He survived the Korean War, graduated from medical school and started his own practice in the United States.
"He gave free medical care to all Korean War veterans and their families as a way to repay what he called a debt of honor," Tim said. "He started this legacy of service that I really want to continue."
Tim's father is also in the military. He is currently in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Even though he has a tough decision to choose from the four academies, Tim seems to be leaning toward one place in particular.
"I'm honestly considering West Point as my number one at this point," he said.
But the teenager said he is keeping his options open and he will be visiting the academies once again before the end of the school year.