Brett Shearer says he always wanted to serve his country as a pilot.
What better way to accomplish both goals than to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs?
Brett, 17, realized his dream earlier this year when he received an appointment to the military academy from U.S. Congressman Mark Takano, who represents the Perris Valley. The Perris City Council added its own kudos to the Citrus Hill High School graduating senior, honoring him with a Certificate of Recognition at its April 8 meeting.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and City Council members expressed their best wishes to Brett, praised him for his patriotism and commitment to education and urged him to carry those qualities as he enters the Air Force Academy.
“We are very proud of you,” said Councilman Al Landers.
Busch said several other Perris high school residents have received appointments to service academies and have gone on to rewarding and significant careers. He expects Brett to carry on that legacy.
“Good luck to you,” he said.
Takano called Brett “an exceptional student and an asset to his community.” Brett is the first-ever Air Force Academy Appointee from Citrus Hill High School as well as California’s new 41st Congressional District..
Brett, who played football and basketball at Citrus Hill, said he is “eager and nervous” while counting down the days until he leaves for Colorado on June 26.
“I cannot wait to get started,” he said. “It will be the most difficult task I have ever undertaken.”
He said receiving the accolades from the City Council was a “great honor, one that I am very thankful for.”
Upon arriving in Colorado, Brett said he will undergo six weeks of intense physical training before beginning classes. During that time, he will be unable to communicate with his parents except through letters. No photos. No goodie bags from home.
His mom, Kellee, said the Air Force Academy accepted 1,190 freshman cadets in 2014. The academy received 9,700-applicants. In addition to outstanding grades—Brett Shearer’s sports a 4.2-grade point average—the academy also considered his extra-curricular activities and volunteer work. Brett works in the youth ministry of The Grove Community Church in Riverside and teaches at the congregation’s Vacation Bible School.
“We are proud beyond belief,” Kellee Shearer said. “It’s an honor to cheer and support him while he pursues his dreams.”
Brett says those dreams include earning a degree in aeronautical engineering and learning to fly fighter planes. His family also includes his dad, Richard, and brothers, Jake, 15 and Chad, 14.
“I want the chance to serve my country,” Brett said.
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough told the Shearer family that upon Brett’s completion of boot camp, they should contact the City so a banner bearing his picture can be placed on a light pole on historic D Street.
“Thank you for your willingness to serve,” he said. “You represent the best of our young people.”
City Councilman Julio Rodriguez asked Brett to consider returning to the Perris Valley when his military commitment ends.
“Remember where you came from,” Rodriguez said. “We need you back here.”