NRHS grad West Point-bound

Published 8:19 pm Friday, June 22, 2012

Nansemond River High School graduate Corinth Cross has been selected to attend the prestigious United States Military Academy in the state of New York. Starting there in July, he will carry on a long family tradition of serving the country.

When Nansemond River High graduate Corinth Cross is asked what sport he’ll play when he attends West Point, he takes pride in his stock answer.

“When people ask me ‘Are you going to play basketball or football?’ I say, ‘Neither,’” Cross said.

Following in the footsteps of his sister Triada Cross, who is entering her senior year there, Corinth Cross began applying for the United States Military Academy last July, finishing up the process in December.

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Learning of his acceptance into the school’s academic program at the end of the January, he said, he was “relieved, actually, because of all the time I had been applying there.”

Cross has received a presidential nomination to attend the academy, which was open to him because his father, Frederick Cross, served a full career in the Army.

Corinth Cross — whose grandfather also served in the Army, for 35 years — required endorsements from senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner, along with one from Congressman Randy Forbes, his mother Angela Cross explained.

“It’s a long process to apply — a lot of paperwork,” she said. “There’s a lot of paperwork and there’s a lot of standards you have to meet — academic and physical standards — and community service.”

Cross and his siblings (brother Geordan Cross serves in the Army) were encouraged to pursue military careers, she added.

Cross came to Nansemond River as a sophomore and says his best memories are from the football field. But he has given up the game, he said, and he plans to pursue an engineering major at West Point.

Asked what attracts him to a military career, he answered, “Traveling the world, meeting new people, having new experiences.”

Coming from a military family, he has already lived in Korea and Germany, saying it has given him “more of an open mind, knowing that this isn’t just it — there is so much more outside of Suffolk, or wherever you are.”

He has been “doing a lot of running” to prepare for West Point. “Truth is, I have no idea what to expect,” he said. “You can prepare as much as you want, but until you get there, you won’t know what to expect.”

“His sister has been able to tell him what to look out for,” Angela Cross added.

What Corinth Cross does know is that when he starts at the academy on July 2, five to six weeks of Cadet Basic Training will ease him into things.

“I’m honored that they selected me to attend there. All the history that they have up there is — I mean …,” and his sentence trails off.