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Plebe Summer Ends At U.S. Naval Academy

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Though most of us have never experienced it, Friday marks a unique rite of summer.

Alex DeMetrick reports at the U.S. Naval Academy, Friday is the end of plebe summer, and emotions couldn’t be higher.

Plebes are the freshmen class at the Naval Academy. And while they weren’t marching, they were walking fast to get to the end of plebe summer and a reunion with thousands of family members.

The newest midshipmen arrived in the company squads they were assigned to on the first day when shock treatment cut apron strings in a hurry and rigorous physical conditioning began.

Dismissal on Friday brought that phase to an end and emotions to the surface.

DeMetrick: “How’s he look to you?”
Mom: “He looks wonderful. Wonderful.”

And while it was good to hug and kiss mom again, there were also girlfriends to share the moment with and make up for things like “not being able to hear his voice,” one girlfriend said.

Although hearing mom and dad make noise to find their daughter brought its own special moment, mostly, plebes did their best to keep stiff upper lips.

“It’s definitely good to recharge the batteries and get ready for the academic year,” one plebe said.

“It’s been a great experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself,” said Wilbur Presley, plebe. “I learned a lot about teamwork. I learned a lot about overcoming obstacles you never thought you could before, sir.”

And after hearing that, “I’m so proud of him. He’s a man. He’s a man,” said Wilbur Presley Jr., father.

It’s a moment of a summer never to be forgotten.

More than 1200 plebes make up the Naval Academy class of 2016. Only four more years to go.

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