Blood, sweat and tears. How far would you go to chase a dream?
For nearly 1,000 cadets it's been a long and challenging 4-year journey. KRDO caught up with Kelly Stambaugh, who is part of a military tradition, and said it helped her achieve her goal.
Four years and exactly 1,460 days, of anticipation. Graduation is what these cadets have worked towards.
"It's almost very unbelievable that I'm here and graduation is actually occuring. To be in this front row and to be the one that leads out the wing, it's really quite an honor. Very excited today is finally here," said graduate Kelly Stambaugh.
"My mom's father was a physician in the navy. My own father a physician in the army. I'm a physician in the navy," said Terry Stambaugh, Kelly's father.
Growing up Kelly was a military brat as Terry served in the Navy for 24-years. He said he knows the hard work Kelly put in to graduate from the academy.
"Just to watch her going through the process it's painful but in the end it's worthwhile. The result is a very intelligent, amazing young woman," said Stambaugh.
Kelly said she is hopeful for the future. This fall she will attend Penn State University working towards a Master's in English. Stambaugh said she would one day like to teach at the academy.