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GMC Prep's Liam Fairbrass is third generation family member to attend Army’s top sc
Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 8:15 am, by Billy W. Hobbs, Union Recorder
For the past seven years, Liam Fairbrass had thought about what it would be like to someday be accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
He found out on Thursday, as he became the third generation member of his family to be accepted to the Army’s top academic school in New York.
“I’m very excited about this because this is something I’ve been preparing for the last seven years,” said 17-year-old Fairbrass, whose older brother, Elliot, 19, already attends West Point Academy. “I thought I’d be really prepared for this day, and I guess I really am; it’s just that those seven years really flew by.”
Once he learned that he had been accepted to West Point, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“I knew right then that I needed to step up my game plan,” Fairbrass told The Union-Recorder.
Fairbrass, a senior at Georgia Military College Prep, officially signed the paperwork to enter the Army’s most prestigious academic school in the country. The signing ceremony took place in the Usery Community Room at GMC.
U.S. Congressman Jody Hice, who represents the 10th District of Georgia, which is made up of 25 counties, including Baldwin, also participated in the ceremonial signing.
Seated at a large conference table, which included high-back white leather chairs, were Hice, Fairbrass, and his parents, Mark and Emily Fairbrass, both biology teachers at GMC Prep. Fairbrass’ maternal grandparents, Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan (Ret.), and his wife, Kathy, also attended, as did a host of other people, including members of the school’s faculty.
This marks the sixth member of Boylan’s family, including himself, who have been fortunate enough to attend West Point.
“It’s a very historic day,” GMC Prep Principal Col. John Thornton said.
“Today is a day that we celebrate the accomplishments of Liam Fairbrass. Liam has worked very hard to set the path to commit himself not only to serving GMC in a top capacity, but also serving his country.”
“We celebrate a huge day for us,” Thornton said. “We are very excited about that, but we’re not loss in the moment. The fact that this young man is going to serve his country at a time when this country is facing tremendous challenges, not only domestically, but all around the world.”
He said he couldn’t be prouder of Liam or the family that he comes from.
“He comes from a long line of leaders,” Thornton said. “We’re are also very proud of the commitment he has made, as well as the work that my staff, and faculty here at GMC have helped in preparing Liam to serve us. So, on behalf of the faculty and staff here at GMC, I want to say thank you, Liam for your commitment to your country. We are extremely proud of you, and what you are about to embark on.”
Hice (R-Monroe) also talked about Fairbrass’ accomplishment.
“It’s great to be here at GMC,” Hice said. “Several months ago, I had the distinct honor to have a tour here. It’s one of the great, exciting days of my life, becoming more and more familiar with this campus, and the student body. Liam, this is a testament today of you, as well as this entire school, and the faculty.”
Hice told Fairbrass he wanted to thank him for all has done.
“This is a very special day for all of us here, particularly for you, and your family,” Hice said. “This is one of the fun parts of this job. This young man has exhibited incredible leadership qualities, academic qualities, and as brigadier commander, which is the highest student rank, here in the JROTC. To be able to go to West Point is absolutely an incredible honor.”
“We could not be more proud,” Hice said. “You know, it makes me feel great knowing that our country is in the hands of young men and women who are well prepared in every facet of their lives, for this point in our nation’s history. We couldn’t be more proud.”
Hice told Boylan that he was certain it was an amazing day for him, as well as his entire family.
“He’s the sixth person in the family to go to West Point,” Boylan said.
“That’s got to be a rarity,” the freshman Congressman said. “We are so thankful to your whole family for the example you have shown.”
Fairbrass said he is grateful for his teachers for having always pushed him.
“I’ve really learned a lot,” he said. “Thank you Mom and Dad for always pushing me.”
He said had learned much about values and leadership while enrolled at GMC.
“I think I’m well prepared for my time in the military,” he said.
His mom told him that she and his dad were very proud of him.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV (Ret.), GMC president, said Fairbrass had signed up with the Army to defend this nation. He said Fairbrass would make an incredible example, and model other young men and women at GMC.
“This nation is at war,” Caldwell said. “Liam is going into a college experience to prepare him for combat. He will be deployed. He will go somewhere in the world. It’s what our nation is doing right now. And Liam’s willingness to do that speaks absolute volumes about who he is, as a person.”