Military Man

Opportunity to play football, family veterans inspire senior to attend military academy


Megan Hegarty, Co-Editor

Imagine the amount of work that goes into playing any sport, especially football in college. Double that is what it takes to play football at a military academy.

Senior Braydon Huschka will play football for the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next year on a full-ride scholarship. He reports on July 15 and will be enlisted in the Air Force for at least five years after graduating.

“You become a commissioned officer right out of [college] graduation, so I’ll be in the top 5 percent of the military as soon as I graduate,” Huschka said. “I want to make a career out of it and serve at least 20 years.”

Huschka said he’s wanted to be in the military his entire life and has a long family history of military service.

“My dad was a soldier, his dad was a soldier and my mom’s dad was a soldier,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go to a military academy. I didn’t care what branch it was, as long as it was an academy.”

He said the scholarship was the deciding factor when he chose the Air Force.

“It’s a $500,000 education that I don’t have to pay a cent of,” Huschka said. “I’m actually getting paid to go there.”

The strict atmosphere of a military academy makes the experience different from a normal college, Huschka said.

“You’re basically held to a higher standard,” he said. “You can’t drink or do drugs, obviously. Freshmen can’t walk on the sidewalk, and they even encourage hazing.”

He said being able to play football in college was important to him.

“Football has been a part of my life forever,” Huschka said. “It’s just one of those things I can’t let go of — it’s helped me through a lot and just been there for me.”

Once football starts, he said the training schedule is rigorous.

“The practices are different because they’re shorter, but there [are] three a day,” he he said. “Other schools I’ve seen have a lot more free time, but with football at Air Force, they don’t have [much].”

The Air Force Academy encourages their athletes to do well both on the field and in the classroom, Huschka said.

“They put a much higher emphasis on education, and the football team is required to have a three-hour study hall every day,” he said.

Huschka said he wants to use his time at the academy to become a strong soldier.

“I just want to be at a high level where I can be a really good military officer after graduation,” he said.