LOWELL — Jake Basile and Michael Chadwick were co-captains of the Littleton-Bromfield hockey team this year, representing Harvard on the cooperative team formed by students from Littleton and Harvard.
If things go as planned, next year both will be representing Harvard in United State Military Academies.
Basile, 18, and Chadwick, 17, were both nominated to attend the academies by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, following an interview, and review of their academic credentials.
Basile, the president of his class at Bromfield High School, hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and continue a family tradition. His grandfather served on a destroyer, and his great uncle is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Chadwick hopes to attend West Point, where his father is a civilian employees, and eventually become an engineer in the Army.
Both men are driven by a sense of duty that the nation’s involvement in two ongoing wars has not silenced.
“I feel it owe it to my country,” said Basile.
For Chadwick, the sense of duty may be even more personal.
“I want to give back,” he said. “I’ve never done anything to help out all the people who help me out every day.”
Basile and Chadwick were among the 31 men and women from the 5th Congressional District nominated by Tsongas to attend the U.S. Military, Naval, Air Force, and Merchant Marine academies this year.
Not all will be accepted to the academies that train the nation’s military officers, but all worked hard to get even this far. Tsongas offered them her congratulations at a ceremony Saturday at Lowell City Hall.
“I have a district that really does produce some remarkable young people,” Tsongas told a crowd of nominees, parents and siblings. “It’s wonderful to see so many young people willing to serve their country.”
There is still a long road ahead of the nominees, though.
There will be interviews with alumni from the academies, a physical fitness exam and other tests.