Nephew at West Point

By on August 20, 2009

This is a story about my nephew that appeared in some papers back East.

Cadet finds time to get donuts

One of the toughest challenges during West Point’s six weeks of boot camp is the land navigation course. New Army cadets have only four hours to find at least eight out of 10 points scattered across a vast wooded training ground east of Central Valley.

One new cadet, Grant Demaree, 17, of Marriottsville, Md., wasn’t worried. He bet his comrades that he could find all the marks, then locate a Dunkin’ Donuts in the nearest town, buy enough pastries for the entire platoon and cart them back to base before the clock ran out.

Game on.

The orienteering wiz-bang set out alone, finding nine points, then bee-lining it for Central Valley. Lord knows what the clientele at Dunkin’ Donuts thought of the stinking AWOL cadet as he sauntered up to the counter. Demaree bought a mix of 375 full-size and hole-size confections and took off in a hurry.

Part-way back, during a rock scramble, he lost about 50 treats off the side of the cliff.

When he arrived at camp, under the wire, the first thing Demaree did was offer his superiors first dibs on the donuts.

They accepted the confections and thanked the new cadet by “smoking” him — subjecting him to physical punishment (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) and forcing him to write a “reflective essay.”

But perhaps the best, or worst, part of this story: To raise the money for the confections, Demaree actually accepted another bet. He ate a mysterious, thumb-sized beetle for $135.

Alexa James


About Keith Gingery

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