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United States of America

(L-R) Wyatt Boswell, Zack Beatty and Mikey Garofalo of Wellington.

Air Force Academy Recruits From Wellington Among The Next Generation Of Heroes By Deborah Welky

The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is among the most difficult schools in the nation to get into. Retired Lt. Col. Rob Oswald ought to know — he has been the academy’s recruiting liaison officer for Palm Beach County for more than a decade. “I’ve been doing this for the last 13 or 14 years, and very few get to the acceptance part. To have three from Wellington in one year is pretty miraculous, and they’re all friends,” Oswald said. “Usually I get one accepted every other year out of all the 12 schools I have assigned to me.” The three young men are Wyatt Boswell, Mikey Garofalo and Zack Beatty. “I give them all the credit. It takes a lot of hard work — studying and extracurricular activities, outside volunteer work — to get into the academy,” Oswald said. “In addition, they have to get a letter from their senator or congressman.”

30 september 2018 | wellington the magazine

Usually, students interested in attending the academy will reach out to Oswald. “I start out as a mentor and, if the academy likes what they see when the candidate initially applies, they will ask me to interview them,” he explained. “I put in my recommendation, and the Air Force does their thing.” Now that Boswell, Garofalo and Beatty are in, Oswald has taken off his evaluator hat and put on his mentor hat. “Once they’re accepted, I try to line them up with kids currently in the academy and help them through their career,” said Oswald, who was a pilot

himself. “Those three kids are pretty incredible.” Garofalo, whose grandfather served in the Air Force, attended the academy’s prep school before entering the academy itself. “Everyone around you is a leader,” he said of the experience. “Everyone is leading each other; you can’t fall behind.” He wants to study business, with the aim of working in acquisitions for the Air Force after graduation. In addition to their studies, recruits need to sign up for a sports team. Garofalo played for the Western Communities Football League and was highly sought after by colleges while playing for Palm Beach Central High School, so he naturally chose football. “My mom and sister were crying,” Garofalo said of when he headed out

Wellington The Magazine – September 2018  

September 2018 | ON THE COVER United States Air Force veteran and Wellington pioneer Ken Adams was recently honored by the Wellington Commun...

Wellington The Magazine – September 2018  

September 2018 | ON THE COVER United States Air Force veteran and Wellington pioneer Ken Adams was recently honored by the Wellington Commun...