Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 06-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | JUNE 13-19, 2019 SMITHFIELD 15 GLOCESTER – After four years of military training including many hours of studying for a degree in mechanical engineering, Chepachet native Benjamin Duhaime graduated from West Point as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army on May 25. Duhaime will begin five years of service 60 days after his graduation date at Fort Rocky in Alabama where he will attend flight school for heli- copters and officer training, which was his first choice for placement in service. The Army places students in a field based on the students' preferences using a ranking system based on class rank, grades, physical training scores and other references. "I am one of 100 people in the class that was able to select aviation," Duhaime said. He said he was excit- ed that he was one of the students who got it. Duhaime said his time at West Point was busy and structured, with classes Monday through Friday as well as military and physical training in between and on some weekends. Attendance at all football games is mandatory, and his average of 20 credits per semester made college a "day-to-day grind" for Duhaime. "I'm grateful for this education. I'm a better and more competent person from this experience," he said. Without the "classic" college expe- rience to draw from, Duhaime said he doesn't know how his schooling was any different. He said he and his friends still found time to relax and have fun playing flag football, ultimate frisbee, and grap- pling. "There were no crazy college parties, but we found our own way to get out and have a good time," he said. Of his class of 1,200, 985 students graduated in May with students leav- ing for a variety of reasons including dropouts, injuries, bad grades and disciplinary issues. He said he lucked out with the long leave of absence following graduation, but is excited to begin his service. The government pays for attendance to West Point, and all graduates are required to give five years of service. "It's not like congrats, full-ride. We pay on the back end. You owe them five years of services as an officer," he said. Duhaime said he plans on staying in the military for up to 10 years and will decide then if he will re-enlist, join a master's degree program, or begin a career. He said he's focusing on the task ahead. "I'm really excited about it. This is a great opportunity," he said. Duhaime's parents, Melissa and Gilbert "Ed" Duhaime, met in the Army and Melissa also graduated from West Point. Duhaime said being a son of a military person did not increase his chances of getting into the military college, but hard work, good grades, and being a well-round- ed student did. He said he knew at a young age that he wanted to join the Army, and began working toward that goal long before he graduated PHS in 2015. He said his parents agreed on two things about his future: he's going to college and he needed a scholarship to get there. "They said to do something that will make you happy," Duhaime said. "I am. This is absolutely what I want to do." On top of scoring high marks aca- demically at Ponaganset High School, Duhaime played the clarinet in the school band and competed in the pole vault. He said he held leader- ship roles and graduated to an Eagle Scout as well. After the "go, go, go, go, go," of high school and the Army, Duhaime said he is looking forward to spend- ing a few weeks catching up with family and friends and taking extra time to sleep in his Chepachet home. Though excited to begin aviation school, Duhaime said it's nice to be back home. He said his family will wrap up summer and his leave with a vaca- tion to the Caribbean. For other students considering applying to West Point, he said to do research, talk to people in the Army and those who attended the school, and keep trying. "It's challenging. It's rewarding. If something you're passionate about is doing something bigger than your- self, do it," he said. West Point graduate Duhaime talks college, future By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com DUHAIME East Smithfield Library offers Summer Reading Program Library offers Excel Basics Monday SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will offer registration for its Summer Reading Program from Saturday, June 15, through Saturday, June 29. The program will run from July 1 through Aug. 9, for children up to the age of 12. The theme for this summer's pro- gram is "A Universe of Stories." Children will explore the uni- verse through stories, songs, games, and other activities. Visit the library during registra- tion week to sign up. You will receive a reading log and progress stickers. Call the library at 401-231-5150. SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will offer Excel Part II on Monday, June 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This class is for those with a basic knowledge of Excel wanting to learn more. Learn about sorting data, using forms, helpful functions, and other worksheet skills. Prerequisite knowledge of Excel Basics is rec- ommended. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 401-231-5150. LIBRARY NEWS

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