Ange eagerly awaits chance at West Point

Published 3:28 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

In just a few short months, Walt Ange will trade the baseball diamond and football field of Williamston High School for the classrooms of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“I’ve been interested in attending West Point since about halfway through my junior year when I received a letter,” Ange said. “I looked into it, and I found out everything is paid for, and you get a monthly stipend.”
Ange signed up for a leadership seminar last summer, one of about 300 rising seniors in attendance.
“I went for a week, and it was amazing up there,” he recalled. “We spent time with the cadets; we were with their platoon and it caught my attention, so I decided I’d like to go there.”
Ange was nominated by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. Ange said he’s grateful to them, since a West Point education will offer him job security afterward.
But first, there’s the matter of getting that education. Ange reports for cadet basic training — “It’s known as ‘beast,’” he said — June 28, with classes slated to start in August. He’ll be among 1,100 new students, but there will be at least one familiar face in the crowd; he’s met and talked with Kiam Boerema, a Terra Ceia Christian School senior who is heading to West Point at the same time.
Ange will study for four years, and then he’s obligated for five years active duty and three years of reserve duty. He plans to major in civil engineering and minor in counter-terrorism.
“Working with tanks is what I’m hoping to do,” Ange said. “I’ll probably pull 20 years and be able to retire when I’m 42.”
A son of Jeff and Carolyn Ange, he has two brothers, Jamie Bembridge and Neil Ange. He said he’ll miss his family and hometown, but he’s eager to see a bit of the world.
“My parents are excited,” Ange said. “They’re happy because I’m getting a great education, and it’s not going to cut their pockets too much.”
Known for his prowess in the athletic arena as a Williamston Tiger, Ange is no slouch in the classroom either. An honor-roll student, he’s a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society. Along with West Point, he also was accepted to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University.
A couple years ago, Ange shared his love of sports by volunteering with Heroes League Baseball, a program for developmentally challenged children.
“My younger brother has cerebral palsy,” he said. “To see all the kids having a good time, it was amazing.”
When he’s not busy with school and extracurricular activities, Ange enjoys fishing and spending time with his friends. He also works at The Cage in Washington.
Looking ahead, Ange said he knows the next four years won’t be easy ones.
“There will be physical challenges. They’re pretty demanding up there,” he said. “I expect it’s going to be pretty tough, but I think in the long run it’s going to be one of the best decisions in my life. West Point is top-rated, and it can’t be beat. It turns cadets into leaders.”
What will Ange miss most about eastern North Carolina?
“My family first, and after that the food and the weather,” he said with a smile.