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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kevin Hofmeister Realizes His Dream Becoming a Marine with Early Graduation from Hermann High School

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HHS student realizes his dream, will leave for Marines
By Don Kruse, Editor Advertiser-Courier  
April 20, 2011
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Kevin Hofmeister won't be able to walk with his classmates next month when they receive their diplomas at Hermann High School's commencement, but his name will be listed among the Class of 2011.

   Hofmeister received an early graduation "present" last Thursday when the school board granted him permission to leave school early so he can start Marine Corps training. He has dreamed of becoming a Marine, and signed up for the Corps' Delayed Entry Program (DEP) nearly a year ago.

   Early graduation is usually approved by the school board in December, but it was just two weeks ago that Hofmeister, 18, was offered an opportunity to start his training in April instead of June. Now he will be leaving Easter Monday for boot camp in San Diego, Calif.

   He said his Marine recruiter called him the last day of March and informed him that there was an earlier opening.

   "He said, Kevin, here is an opportunity for you to leave in April, but you will need to have enough credits to graduate and you will have to be cleared by the school board," Hofmeister said.

   Dr. Chris Neale, R-1 district superintendent, said the board had no problem with granting a student with high scores an opportunity to fulfill a dream.

   Hofmeister, after 13 weeks of boot camp and advanced training, will attend military intelligence school at Quantico, Va. When he fulfills a six-month obligation, he will enroll January 2012 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau where he will be in the ROTC program, and earn his commission as an officer. He plans to make a career in the Marine Corps.

   For Hofmeister, son of Bob and Mary Hofmeister of Hermann, the school board's approval was the final action that will put him on active duty.

   "I've been wanting to join the Corps forever," said Hofmeister, who signed up for the DEP program when he was 17. And for the last 10 months, he has journeyed to Washington each Wednesday night to "check-in" for physical and mental preparation for boot camp.

   Gary Leimkuehler, Hermann High School principal, said Hofmeister is a solid student who has scored high on the ACT and the ASVAB tests.
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