Page 6 - The Home Front - Fall 2019
P. 6

shining stars of Jacksonville

          By Mario Gonzalez of Navy to Navy Homes

          As a 24-year retired Navy vet, I am never anything short of amazed to see young people who accept the challenge to
          attend a service academy. Their extraordinary achievements in high school go beyond the average student. They must
          establish themselves as incredibly accomplished students, as capable athletes and must show leadership potential through
          numerous channels to even be considered as a candidate. last year over 16,000 students applied to the Naval Academy,
          and only 1200 were selected for the class of 2023. we would like to introduce you to three of the outstanding future
          leaders from your hometown of Jacksonville.

          tIAAn’s stoRy

                                               appointment to the class of 2021
                                               after the application process. After
                                               receiving encouragement from his
                                               brother Gavin, Tiaan successfully
                                               applied to the uSNA as well and
                                               received his appointment to the class   he received an appointment to the
                                               of 2023.                              Academy, and they all hope he will
                                                                                     be able to represent the Navy on the
                                               Several other schools reached out to   golf arena regularly.
                                               recruit Tiaan for golf. However, last
                                               year during labor day weekend, he     Tiaan’s father said, “both my
                                               and his family traveled to Annapolis   boys have never shied away from
                                               and met with Pat owen (the golf       challenges and have a strong love for
                                               coach of the uSNA). This meeting      their country and desire to serve as
                                               sparked a renewed determination in    leaders in the Navy. Although their
          Tiaan Mattiace visited the united    Tiaan to attend the Naval Academy     final career paths are still uncertain, I
          States Naval Academy during a        and hopefully the opportunity to      know that they will work diligently to
          6th grade trip to washington d.C.    play golf. His family is so proud that   succeed.”
          Instantly intrigued, he set his sights
          on attending the Academy and held                                          The Mattiace family is still surprised
          on to that focus throughout his                                            that both of their sons entered the
          school years.                                                              united States Armed forces as neither
                                                                                     parent has family members who have
          Interestingly, his brother Gavin, two                                      served. However, their aunt, (father’s
          years his senior, was also interested                                      sister) married a 2-star general in the
          in the Naval Academy. However, he                                          South African Army who also holds a
          never had the opportunity to visit                                         master’s degree from the u.S. Army
          uSNA until he went on a college                                            war College. His parents believe that
          road trip with his father the summer                                       the experience and expertise of their
          before his senior year at Stanton                                          uncle provided the encouragement
          College Prep School. That was                                              and motivation to their boys with
          all it took, and he was offered an                                         regards to a military career.
          904-900-4766                                         6

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