A West Point Cadet Reflects Back

Coach Ron Adams of Wyandotte (MI) Roosevelt High School shared this email he just received from a former player who is now serving our country at West Point. Ron and his staff do an amazing job of integrating virtue and mentoring into everything they do and this note shows it.

"Season of Life" and "The Last Lecture" are two books that he had his players read. Some coaches might say, "My kids would never read it so why bother?" ... Well this kid did and look at the impact ...
Lets always remember the most important things ...



I know that I have mentioned it to you before when talking in the fall when I came back for the conference when you gave me the great gift of being able to talk to the team but lately I have been able to do a lot of thinking and I just wanted to let you know some things.

I guess it is because of the profession I am in now, watching the seniors graduate and become new 2LT in the Army and watching them get their bars pinned on made me stand back and realize a few things. A couple of weeks ago while we were at breakfast they announced that a member of the Class of 2011 had been killed in combat and it just hits everything so home that now in 3 short years things will be so different. I know this is always what I have wanted to do and I do not regret it all.

I have been able to re-read both "Season of Life" and "The Last Lecture" and now with being older and seeing a lot more I see so many of the lessons that you have taught me and the team every year and why you did. You and all the coaches taught me so much in never giving up, being humble, giving back, and striving to be the best we can be in the classroom.

I talk to people all the time about the Bear Olympics and how we always went and did community service projects, reading to the little kids, and than the thing that shocks so many people is your commitment to academics, with watching our grades, attendance, and tardiness. These aspects of personal accountability have played a critical part for me here at West Point.

The way that you and the other coaches not only taught us our football skills ... you were without us maybe realizing it ... teaching us life lessons. We learned that the fundamentals were critical to everything else because if we did not understand those than the bigger and harder aspects would not be able to fall into place. The idea of tasks we do not think we can accomplish, those "Brick Walls" we always had to fight through, you taught us to never accept defeat and give our absolute best because in the end that is all anyone can ever ask of.

You are so very family related, and taught us to love our family and give back to them for all that they have given us, to loving each other like brothers, and you have sure been like another father to me and one of the biggest mentors in my life. You always supported me when I had all those hoops to jump through for the medical test, to helping me with recommendations, to seeing how I have been doing, and most of all always believing in me even when so many people told me I would never get in here or be able to stay.

I don't think there are words to describe how much you have impacted my life and the lives of so many others as well. As I grow older, and sometimes thrust to being older because of the profession I have chosen, I have been able to see truly all that you and all the other coaches have done. Thank you so very much, I will never forget these lessons that you have taught me and I will continue to build on them each and every day.
Very Respectfully,

Mitch Kittle
USMA Class of 2015
"For Those We Lead"
Regimental Cadet In Charge, Class of 2015 Class Committees
Army Mens Varsity Crew