ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — For six weeks, plebes at the U.S. Naval Academy are all but cut off from their parents. But this is Plebe Parents’ Weekend, where loved ones are reunited after a grueling six weeks of basic training.
The reunions are bittersweet, though. Shortly after families and midshipmen parted in June, Michelle Cummings of Texas was killed by a stray bullet. She and her husband had just dropped off her son, Leonard “Trey” Cummings III.READ MORE: 'This Is 10K People Who Have Died' Maryland Woman Shares Story After Mom Dies From COVID-19, Urges People To Get Vaccinated
The academy was expecting more than 3,000 family and friends to come for the event. The midshipmen marched out in their Navy whites for an emotional reunion.
“These six weeks are really important to me,” said James Adams, a midshipman 4th class from California. “I definitely learned a lot. I grew a lot mentally, morally, physically.
Mia Martinez, a midshipman 4th class from Texas, rushed to embrace her mother.READ MORE: ‘This Loss Is Ours As A City’ Baltimore Hockey Team Mourns Two Young Members, Murdered In East Baltimore Shooting
“I really enjoyed it, it was obviously challenging but I feel like we all rose to it and we all work together,” she said.
Leonard Cummings and his father continue to seek closure in his mother’s death. The suspect, Angelo Harrod, remains held without bail.
“It hit our whole naval family. We were here that weekend, and it’s so devastating,” said Lori Adams, a parent from California. “I hope the family’s holding together and still proud of their son for still being here.”MORE NEWS: Local Small Business Owners Share How American Rescue Plan Funding Helped To Keep Them Afloat
The son returned to basic training after his mother’s memorial and plans to play football in the fall.