Tom Jeffers, a 2010 Batesville High School graduate, recently graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The Fort Sill, Oklahoma, resident is the son of former Batesville residents Tom and Kathleen Jeffers, Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. He has two younger siblings, Connor, a DePauw University junior, and Molly, a Bishop Ireton High School junior.
Nominated by former Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Baron Hill, he explains his reasons for attending the military academy: “I think growing up in the post-9/11 era definitely had somewhat of an impact on me in regards to how I viewed both the military and those in it. Neither of my parents were in the military, but my godfather spent some time in Iraq in the early years of the war, so I think that influenced me in a way. But once I got to high school, I never really gave joining the military much thought.
“Toward the end of my junior year, I was being recruited by a few schools to play football and, just as a shot in the dark, I sent my film to the sprint football coach at West Point. At that point, I had no real intention of going there or joining the military. I just did it to see what would happen. About a month later, I got a call from my future coach saying he would love to have me on his team. From that point, I started to think about it more seriously, and after lots of thought finally decided to attend. Next thing I knew, my head was shaved and I was starting my first day of cadet basic training.
My life as a student: Essentially, the curriculum is broken down into three main categories: academic, physical and military. Being successful as a cadet is all about learning how to prioritize your work and balance the demands that are put on you. In your first couple years at the academy, your free time is extremely limited, so you really aren’t allowed to leave the campus at all. But after the first two years, you get a little bit more comfortable and can relax a bit and go out on weekends.