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Ackerman sends student to join sister in Annapolis

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For the younger members of the Cannon family of Flushing, attending the U.S. Naval Academy is becoming a new family tradition.

Both Victoria (class of 2013) and Christopher (class of 2015) were nominated to attend the academy by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) following the biannual information sessions he sponsors at Bayside HS.

Every year, members of Congress nominate top high school seniors from their districts to attend the U.S. Military, Air Force, Naval, Merchant Marine and Coast Guard academies.

After visiting with his sister and hearing stories about what it is like to attend the academy, Christopher decided he wanted to follow Jacqueline to Annapolis and stopped by the congressman’s information session.

Last month Ackerman announced that Christopher and six other students from Bayside and Flushing had been accepted into the academies.

“Each year it is an honor to nominate the young leaders of our community to attend America’s elite service academies,” Ackerman said. “All of the students accepted this year are exceptional individuals. I congratulate each and every one of them who will no doubt make Queens and the United States extremely proud.”

Christopher, who played baseball at St. Francis Prep. in Fresh Meadows, left for Annapolis a few weeks ago where he was recruited as a catcher.

His mother, Janice Cannon, is now a Blue & Gold Officer — a trained volunteer who assists candidates in their admissions processes. She said she’s proud of her 20-year-old daughter, who is planning to enter the Marine Corps, and 17-year old son, who is deciding between the Naval Academy and Marine Corps.

“If I had the choice, I’d have them come home and put them in their room and never come out,” she said. “There are thousands of young Americans risking their lives. Far be it from me to say they can’t.”

Janice Cannon said her children are learning to be officers and to provide support and guidance to others. She also said that with two children planning to go into the armed services, she prays for peace every day.

While she looks to a higher power to bring peace between nations, the academy has its own way of dealing with possible rivalries between siblings.

“One problem I could see arising is that because she’s an upperclassman, every time they’re in uniform he has to salute her,” Janice Cannon joked.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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