To live the life of a warrior

Marisa Koraus

There is no question that the recent acts of terrorism and violence in the country have affected everyone in some way.

However, Quinnipiac’s quiet campus, which is surrounded by green grass, pleasant walkways and clock tower melodies, it can become easy to fall back into daily routines and the more mundane worries of handing in papers, attending meetings and studying.

While these are all significant obligations, there is another “breed” of college students who share these same responsibilities.

These young men and women cannot let the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the potential war with Iraq slip from the forefront of their minds because, along with their academic duties, they are being trained to protect all Americans from suffering such calamities in the future.

Daniel Bryant, 22, is one such individual. Currently a senior, or “firstie,” majoring in computer science and mathematics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bryant is facing the reality of beginning his service as a second lieutenant in the army.

“I went to West Point out of a sense of duty, and it seemed like a real adventure compared to what other high school classmates were doing,” said Bryant.

According to the cadet, it is an adventure with many differences from other national colleges.

For example, many liberties are limited. Such restrictions include a requirement to wear a uniform at all times; an authorization to leave campus on weekends provided that there will be a return at a specific time and computer limitations on viewing “inappropriate” content over the Internet.

In addition, random room inspections and drug tests can be administered to the students. The cadets must also plan for uniforms, haircuts and equipment inspections throughout the year.

However, along with the restrictions come many advantages.

“I’m receiving a first-class education, finding better ways to deal with diversity and extreme stress, and I feel that I am being set up for success in the future,” said Bryant.

Bryant will graduate this May from the academy and will be entering the Air Defense Artillery branch of the army.

In this unit, he will be expected to lead troops in the operation of missiles and other various types of artillery as a means of shooting down incoming enemy aircraft.

He hopes to be stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado for the primary years of his training and service.

“I’m scared [of entering my branch], in the respect that everyone is scared of the unknown, but at the same time, I’m confident in my abilities,” said Bryant.

Facing a seemingly worrisome and frightful reality, especially with terrorism on the rise and the possibility of war becoming more real each day, these young men and women are taught to exude confidence, pride, and determination, not only for themselves, but for all Americans.

“I’m excited to be graduating and to be finally putting the skills that I’ve worked on into practice,” said Bryant, “We are very well trained and will do a good job of carrying out the nation’s bidding, regardless of what it is.”