Payton Gill- nominated by his mother Rebecca Gill:
My elder son, who is 22 years old, is a recent graduate of Hillsdale College where he learned what Good, Truth, and Beauty really mean. His elementary and high school Catholic education and devout family life has formed him into a good and loving Christ-like man for others to follow, and that has carried over into his college life. He was always a good friend, roommate, and fellow student willing to help anyone through a tough time. He was given the nickname Gimli from Lord of the Rings by one of the RA’s in his dorm. He recognized these character traits in my son after only a few months.
As Payton was approaching graduation this past Spring, he realized that his chosen major, Economics, while a good thing in and of itself, held no higher purpose for his life than going to do a job. He felt a different pull on his spirit to do, as he put it, something bigger than himself. Payton decided that instead of pursuing a job in the field of economics, he wanted to join the U.S. Navy in the Navy Aviator program. He reports for Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island on January 15, 2018. When he graduates from OCS, he will report to the Naval Aviation School (aka flight school) in Pensacola, Florida.
I realize that he has not done anything heroic yet, and he would be the first to humbly agree. It is my deeply held conviction that it takes courage and intestinal fortitude to pursue a military career when there are so many choices in the world today for our young people. The military will challenge and forge Payton in a way that any other job simply cannot reach. When our young people have the choice to pursue a line of work or to give their lives over to the defense of our great and God-blessed nation, it speaks to a well-formed character and strong spirit. My son embodies this spirit of love and caring that the world so badly hungers for.
In Christ, Rebecca Gill