All Service Academies Ball supports Wounded Warrior Project
“I don't think you can find a finer group than this group of men and women. These young people are exceptional — it's unbelievable how focused and committed to this country they are,” said Congressman Mike Kelly.
The sentiment was echoed throughout the evening of Dec. 28, as accolades and admirations resonated with all 175 guests of the All Service Academies Ball.
Held at the Westin Convention Center hotel, the event honored cadets and midshipmen from Western Pennsylvania who attend any of the five service academies: the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.
“I don't think anyone is courageous when you are born. You have to learn it through experience. When you're tested, you hope you can find the courage you need,” shared guest speaker Col. Robert Cahalan, who retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2010 after 31 years of service.
Hosted by the U.S. Air Force, this year's ball also supported the efforts of the Wounded Warrior Project, which assists returning servicemen and women who sustained serious injuries in transitioning back to civilian life.
“It's a great time for a group like this to recognize the Wounded Warriors and help us continue on with an opportunity to do more than the generation before us when they returned home,” said retired U.S. Army Sgt. Joe Quezada on behalf of the WWP.
The event was co-chaired by Dana Matachak and Kathleen Foley. Representatives from the Naval Academy included Ian Gray, Addison Dishart, Jacob Kocsis, and Megan Rosenberger; from the Military Academy, Evan Kowalski, David Henderson Jr., Ryan Sanguini, Allen Michael Solida and Brandon Yarnovich; from the Air Force Academy, Peter Coote, Dalton Hayes, Williams Maschmeyer, Will Duff, Alexander Langer, Braden Laverick and Jacob Ploschnitznig; and, from the Merchant Marine Academy, Chase Dwyer, Grant Foley and David Gregory.