WEST POINT, NY (CBSNewYork / AP) – For graduating cadet Tom Anderson from Poughkeepsie, going to West Point was an obvious life choice.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With Tom Anderson

“My parents were grooming me for West Point ever since I was a little kid,” he says.

That meant visits to the Academy museum and graduations.

In his four years at the United States Military Academy, Anderson has seen the changes in himself.

“You grow up fast here. It’s just the nature of the beast,” he says.

Now, Anderson will be tossing his cap, and he’ll have a degree in physics.

“It’s just about solving complex problems and sometimes in physics you’ve got to beat your head around a problem to try and figure it out and, I guess that kind of determination kinda helps you out,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

He’ll be in field artillery and could see combat as soon as January, but for now it’s all about graduation and the pride that goes with it.

“Best day of my life,” he says. “Everything that’s gone on has led up to here, all the hard times, all the obstacles that we faced.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen will be the graduation speaker at West Point’s commencement on May 21.

More than 1,000 cadets are expected to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy and be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

Mullen, a Navy admiral, has served as the chairman since 2007. He’s scheduled to retire at the end of September.

Check back Thursday for another cadet profile from WCBS 880.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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