Frenship grad accepted into West Point

A Frenship High School graduate will continue his education at the United States Military Academy at West Point next month.

Joseph Monje graduated from FHS in 2013, but he said he didn’t decide to try aiming for West Point until his senior year. Most applicants start the process in their junior year, he said.

So this year, he went into the U.S. Army and went through basic training and advanced individual training.

“Throughout basic training, no one wants to be there. But after you’re done, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I did that.’ It’s pretty awesome,” he said.

He has been home in Frenship for a bit, waiting until he is required to report to West Point in July.

Monje said he has wanted to be in the military “forever.”

“I can’t really think of a time I didn’t want to be” in the military,” Monje said. He remembers career day when he was in elementary school and said he was always so proud of his goal of being a soldier someday.

As an adult, he wants to be in the medical field and to become a doctor. He hopes he can achieve those goals while at West Point.

He was nominated for West Point by his battalion commander.

Monje also has a family heritage in the military. Both of his parents are officers in the Army Reserves.

His maternal grandparents were both master sergeants, with his grandmother serving in the Army and his grandfather in the Air Force. His maternal great-grandfather served in the Army in World War II.

On his paternal side of the family, his grandfather was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and his step-grandfather also served in Vietnam. His paternal great-grandfather served in World War II,

“I’m a quarter Japanese, so my dad’s mother’s dad was in the Imperial Army of Japan,” and fought in World War II, Monje said.

Monje said he enjoyed participating in junior varsity football for three years at FHS, but he said track and field was his “big thing.”

He ran the half-mile in track and was team captain of track and field in his senior year.

He also enjoyed Latin classes with his favorite teacher, Susan Robinson, and was in Latin Club all four years.

“My senior year, we had a Mr. Frenship pageant, and I represented the Latin Club,” Monje said, adding that he had to don a swimsuit for the contest, as well as doing a version of the Web-infamous “Evolution of Dance” in the talent contest.

“I didn’t win,” he said.

Monje also earned the Eagle Scout rank during his senior year.

He organized other scouts in interviewing war veterans for the Veterans History Project with the Library of Congress as his final project for the badge.

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