B y Matthew Saari

People at the Memorial Day parade and the Whitehall Elementary school ceremony probably saw an individual clad in the digital tiger-stripe camouflage fatigues of the U.S. Air Force. The more astute noticed this airman had tiny gold bars on his lapels marking him a second lieutenant.
The new officer was John Diekel, a 2013 Whitehall High School graduate who just completed his studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Earning an appointment to a military institution alone is a commendable feat; “12,000 people apply every year,” said Diekel.
Each aspirant must complete a 90-page questionnaire that addresses the candidate’s leadership, academic and athletic abilities. Then the candidate must ask a congressman, senator or the vice president of the U.S. for a letter of recommendation.

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