Service is the future for determined TKA grad Sam Herbert

May. 18, 2014 @ 03:15 PM

 Sam Herbert is always thinking of others.

In a 30 minute conversation, he talks more about his classmates, teachers, coaches and family than he does himself. It’s a refreshing departure from the talk of most teenagers, and it displays exactly why Herbert’s making some of the decisions he is in regards to his future.

Herbert, who graduated from The King’s Academy on Saturday, will enroll at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., this fall.

After that, he said, it’s likely he’ll join the Army. One day, he dreams, he’ll be serving the country in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I want to take psychology, and maybe a minor in computer science,” he said Saturday morning. “It’s a military school, and I do want to be a part of the military. Going into The Citadel and graduating from there and going into the military as a 2nd Lieutenant, as an officer, and after I do leave the military ... I want to work for the FBI.”

Herbert has three younger sisters, and they, he said are a big factor in his decisions.

“I’m a very overprotective brother, and for me I want to do service,” the 6-foot-2, 220-pound former Lions football player said. “I want to be doing things to help protect this nation and protect my family — the ones that I love most. That’s a big reason I want to be in the military, (too).”

It was Herbert’s attendance at an FBI camp that spurred his interest.

“I went to an FBI camp, and I got to spend a whole week learning what they do,” he said. “That was a blast, I loved it. And it all started just coming together from there.”

At The Citadel, a military school, Herbert plans to choose Army ROTC.

“It’s going to be wearing a uniform again, and I’m already used to that, of course, from King’s (Academy),” Herbert said.

If he decides the ROTC thing doesn’t work, he won’t have to enlist in the military after college.

“I could go ahead and work for the FBI if the military turns out to be something I’m not interested in anymore.”

Should he choose to enlist, he’ll carry on a family tradition of wearing the uniform of the U.S. Military.

“My grandfather served as a Marine in Vietnam,” he said. “And his grandfather was a pilot and flew PBYs (an amphibious aircraft used for anti-submarine tactics) during WWII and protected the ocean coast from German submarines. 

“I want to shoot to try and be an Army Ranger. That’s a dream goal.”

But leaving TKA won’t be easy.

Herbert talked about the lifelong friendships he’s made and the tight-knit nature of the school.

“Since King’s is so small, you begin to know everybody ... from doing all these things around the campus,” he said. “For us, we’ve known each other, almost all of us, since middle school. And we’re so tight ... we’ve become this family.

“We may have our little fights and all that, but we’re really close to each other. When graduating time came, people were in tears because we may not see each other again — it’s a really tight bond.”

Herbert said he’ll also miss his teachers, especially Leland Lyon, Jeff Ayers, Susan Reynolds and David Mosher, four instructors he said provided great instruction and guidance over the years.

Although he’ll be stepping into a big, different world this fall, he said it will undoubtedly be a challenge, but one he’ll be prepared for.

“We hear about things going on (at other area schools),” he said, “(But at TKA) you’re not experiencing it, you’re not seeing it with your own eyes. Since King’s is so small, it seems like that stuff, they can keep it away from you.

“So when we graduate and leave, we’re going to be experiencing the things we’ve only heard about. It’s going to be a big change for a lot of people.

“But King’s has tried teaching us about how to be prepared for that. And they’ve done a good job teaching us some of the stuff that we need to avoid. The environment, all the teachers are there to help you 24/7. They’re there to help you no matter what, and they all have God in their lives. So they can talk to you if you’re struggling. That’s a great environment. It’s a good thing.”

Sam is the son of Martha and Eric Herbert of Seymour.