NEWARK, NJ — On June 7, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez recognized 19 bright, young New Jerseyans, whom he nominated and were all accepted this year into the four U.S. military service academies. From Essex County were West Orange’s Vanessa Lettman, a student at West Orange High School; Belleville’s James Cruz, a student at Saint Peter’s Preparatory School; and Montclair’s Lucas Pla Silsby, a student at Montclair High School. The nominees in attendance were joined by family, friends and the academy screeners who recommended them for appointment. A reception was held in the senator’s Newark office.
“These academies accept only the best and brightest of this generation and transform them into the future leaders of the armed forces that protect and preserve our nation and its freedoms,” Menendez said. “I am so fortunate to have met these extraordinary young New Jerseyans, and I commend their willingness to serve our country. They represent the best of New Jersey and will demonstrate that in their future endeavors. I wish them luck as they embark on this new adventure.”