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Veterans Services: 4 ways to visit West Point

While the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a college campus, it's also an active Army base and training facility. That means that unlike other college campuses, you can't just drive on and walk into classrooms and dorm rooms without planning your visit a little in advance. So whether you're a sports fan, historian, young aspiring cadet, or a full-fledged candidate, here are four easy ways to visit West Point. 1. The Sports Fan: Fall visit to Michie Stadium - A home football game at West Point offers brisk weather, beautiful Hudson River views, a kaleidoscope of changing leaves, and plenty of opportunities to watch cadets in action. Since game days are among the most visitor-friendly days at West Point, it's also a great way for aspiring students to experience a Saturday on campus. Purchase your tickets and parking passes in advance at GoArmyWestPoint.com and plan to arrive early! The Cadet Review parade normally takes place two hours before game time and requires a steep 1.2-mile walk from the parade field back up to Michie Stadium. Even if you don't plan to attend the Cadet Review, make sure to get to the stadium in time to catch some of the kick-off festivities, including helicopter fly-overs and the parachuting team's tradition of skydiving onto the 50-yard line to deliver the game ball.

2. The Historian: Winter Guided Tour - Did you know that the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold nearly gave West Point over to the British Army during the Revolutionary War? Did you know that a congressman wrote Hiram Grant's name incorrectly on his West Point application, which is why we know him today as Ulysses S. Grant? These are just a few of the true stories that you will learn while touring campus with West Point Tours. The hour-and-fifteen minute tour (adults $15, children $12, under-2 free) makes stops at the Cadet Chapel, Trophy Point, Battle Monument, and the Plain. We suggest booking the 10:15 a.m. tour during a weekday, which gives you plenty of time to catch the cadets convening for lunch formation. The current visitor's center is under construction, but there is still plenty of parking for visitors.

3. The Aspiring Student: Spring Admissions Visit - West Point is consistently ranked among the top undergraduate institutions in the nation, and ranked in the top five for best classroom experience, accessible professors, diversity interaction, health services, intramural sports, and library services! All admissions appointments can be made by calling (845) 938-5760. 4. The Cadet Candidate: Summer Leaders Experience - Perhaps the most authentic way that an aspiring student can visit West Point is through the Summer Leaders Experience. Though attending SLE requires a competitive application—there are only 1,000 slots and typically more than 6,000 applicant it's one of the best ways for an aspiring student to determine if West Point is the right choice for their college experience. Jam-packed with academic, athletic, military, and social activities, SLE is a place where people make lifelong friends and try on what it feels like to be a cadet at West Point. High School students can apply for SLE in January of their junior year by filling out the Candidate Questionnaire and indicating interest in the summer program. From living in a cadet dorm to attending classes and participating in hands-on military training, SLE is a fully-immersive week designed to give you a taste of life at the U.S. Military Academy. And while it is an optional step in the application process, we've seen time and time again the difference that one week can make in stealing an aspiring student's resolve to make his or her application the best it can be, to successfully complete the journey to becoming a cadet at West Point. [Source: Aspire www.blog.westpointadmissions.com Jan. 26, 2018] As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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