Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced today that Joseph DeSantis of Hale Road in Walpole was accepted for admission to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, and will become a member of the Class of 2009.   Congressman Lynch nominated Joseph for an appointment to the Academy earlier this year.  Joseph, the son of Paul DeSantis and Debbie Steeves, is a student at Walpole High School and a member of the Varsity Cross Country, Track and Lacrosse Teams.


Each year, as part of his Congressional responsibilities, Congressman Lynch is asked to present one or two exemplary candidates from the 9th Congressional District for admission to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Military Academy at West Point, the Air Force Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy.  "It seems as though after September 11th, 2001, the number of highly qualified applicants seeking admission to the Service Academies has increased sharply.  This is the best of America's next generation answering their nation's call to duty.  These are all remarkable young people from wonderful families.  It gives me great hope for our nation’s future,” said Congressman Lynch.


"Joseph came highly regarded by the Merhcant Marines and by his teachers and coaches in Walpole.  He is exceptional, and we expect great things from him.  I’m very proud to make this nomination.  These are challenging times for our nation's military, and after visiting Iraq and spending some time in Baghdad and Tikrit with our troops, I am especially mindful of the personal courage that these decisions require of these young men and women.  And I know how it effects the entire family and the Walpole community, so it becomes quite personal," said Congressman Lynch.


Congressman Lynch and his Congressional Liaison for Military Affairs, Bob Fowkes, examined each candidate's academic record, athletic achievements, extra-curricular activities and letters of recommendation.  After the extensive review process, Joseph DeSantis was selected as someone whose character and love of his country put him at the top of an impressive group of candidates.


Congressman Lynch said, "This was a very competitive process because of the large number of outstanding candidates from our district.  Joseph is a wonderful reflection of his parents, Paul and Debbie, and his grandparents, Don and Kay DeSantis and Joe and Melanie Nahman.   I know that he will make an extraordinary addition to the U.S. Armed Forces.  The DeSantis and Steeves families, as well as the town of Walpole and the entire state have much to be proud of in Joseph.  In making this nomination, I share that pride.” 


Congressman Lynch encourages all high school juniors interested in attending one of the United States Service Academies to contact Mr. Robert Fowkes in his Boston Office at (617) 428-2000.