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Chandler graduates after earning numerous marksmanship awards
Four years ago, Tom Chandler started shooting for the Oak Harbor High School JROTC rifle team.
Over time, his skills have progressed to a point where, as a senior, he is a national force to be reckoned with.
This year was just amazing. It was the culmination of four years, Chandler said.
Chandler participated in a national competition earlier this spring between Marine Corps, Army and Navy JROTC units from around the country and placed third overall out of 5,400 competitors. That performance completed goal he had set for himself the year before.
In addition to his efforts at the national competition held at Fort Benning, Ga., he also earned first place in the state Junior Olympics competition in Olympia. Chandler, along with four other students, will participate in the national Junior Olympics competition this July.
Chandler credits his grandfather, who is a Vietnam veteran, for teaching him the techniques that helped his shooting.
He hopes to continue shooting after graduating from high school. He is planning to shoot with the West Seattle Sportsmans Club when he attends college in the fall.
He plans to attend Seattle Pacific University and major in political science. He chose the school because it is smaller and likes its ideology.
I wanted a small, conservative ideological school, Chandler said.
In addition to being active in JROTC, Chandler is also interested in learning about the political process. He participated in American Legion-sponsored Boys State, where he learned about government structure and process. He participated in Boys Nation in Washington DC and will be a leader at Boys State held this summer in Ellensburg.
He is graduating with a 3.83 grade point average, a member of National Honor Society and is an active member of Living Word Fellowship.
While he is attending Seattle Pacific University, he will have to spend some of his time at nearby University of Washington. He has to go there to participate in the Air Force ROTC program.
Once he graduates from college, he hopes to enjoy a career in the Air Force.
After that, he hope to go into politics and get elected to a state or federal position.