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Military recruits receive full-tuition scholarships to ROTC schools at New York Jets game: ‘Truly grateful’

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Some of the newest members of America’s military are receiving a great shot at success.

Young warriors ready to get to work for our nation include four soldiers-in-training — and the four had no idea they’d be receiving a big thanks for their commitment.

At the New York Jets‘ annual Salute to Service football game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Nov. 6, 2022, the recruits were presented with major college scholarships to schools of their choice.

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The U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship covers full tuition and fees between two and four years, or $10,000 per year toward room and board, at any college or university served by an Army ROTC program.

Scholarship recipients will also be granted an annual book allowance of $1,200 and a monthly stipend of $420 during their college attendance.

The four U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship recipients claimed their prizes at the New York Jets Salute to Service game on Nov. 6, 2022.

The four U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship recipients claimed their prizes at the New York Jets Salute to Service game on Nov. 6, 2022.
(Angelica Stabile/Fox News Digital)

In an interview with Fox News Digital, U.S. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Major Andrew Lombardo explained that the Minuteman scholarships for the Reserve Officers Training Corp are given to citizen service members.

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These soldiers work both in their community and part time, in either the Army National Guard or Army Reserve.

Scholarship recipients are guaranteed placement in the Army Reserve after graduating.

Bronx high schooler Sad'e Webb receives the U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship on Nov. 6, 2022. She told Fox News Digital the experience was

Bronx high schooler Sad’e Webb receives the U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship on Nov. 6, 2022. She told Fox News Digital the experience was “overwhelming” and said she is “truly grateful” for this recognition.
(Angelica Stabile/Fox News Digital)

“It’s an awesome opportunity to recognize the talents of the people of America,” he said.

“To be able to pay for their university experience and, at the end of it, they commission as an officer — so they get to pursue dual pursuits — I think that’s pretty cool.”

“You never think something like this would happen to you.”

U.S. Army Reserve future cadet Sad’e Webb, a 17-year-old high schooler from the Bronx, told Fox News Digital that being chosen for the scholarship was a “shocker.”

“Overall, the experience was very overwhelming — and I am truly grateful for this,” she said.

Seventeen-year-old Sad'e Webb and her family celebrate her U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship to St. John's University at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Nov. 6, 2022.

Seventeen-year-old Sad’e Webb and her family celebrate her U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship to St. John’s University at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Nov. 6, 2022.
(Jen Golotko/Fox News Digital)

“You never think something like this would happen to you, especially at [age] 17,” she said.

Along with running track, Webb is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council at her high school.

Webb received a total of $225,000 to attend St. John’s University in Queens, New York. There, she hopes to build a future for herself in the military and make an impact.

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The recruit shared her relief at not having to worry about paying off student loans or bearing an enormous financial burden. Instead, she can focus on academics.

U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship winners line up on the field at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.

U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship winners line up on the field at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.
(Angelica Stabile/Fox News Digital)

“I can do more,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about the financial aspect anymore.”

She added, “It’s a struggle sometimes — so to not have to worry about that anymore, I’m truly grateful.”

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Eighteen-year-old Faustina Afrim, another Minuteman recipient from Central Islip, New York, told Fox New Digital that the surprise made her feel “overwhelmed” yet “so happy.”

The high schooler was granted a $121,000 scholarship to attend SUNY Stony Brook in Suffolk County, New York.

Faustina Afrim of Central Islip, New York, holds her scholarship check alongside her father at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.

Faustina Afrim of Central Islip, New York, holds her scholarship check alongside her father at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.
(Jen Golotko/Fox News Digital)

Afrim, who is currently working as a personal care aide, hopes to pursue a career in medicine, specifically anesthesiology, while remaining involved in the military.

As the granddaughter of a Ghanaian soldier, Afrim said she hopes to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps.

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“It’s good for young people like me to set ourselves up for the future,” she said. 

“And it’s about discipline — I wanted to have a disciplined character.”

U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship recipient Aakash Sood was given $50,000 to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey.

U.S. Army Minuteman Scholarship recipient Aakash Sood was given $50,000 to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey.
(Jen Golotko/Fox News Digital)

Recipient Aakash Sood received $50,000 to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey, while Chamiqua Loswijk received $35,000 to attend CUNY York College in Queens, New York.

Since 2015, the Minuteman campaign has provided more than 5,800 cadets with scholarships worth over $115 million, according to the Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD). The initiative to support future ARNG and USAR officers relies heavily on its recruiting partners — a key element in maintaining America’s military strength.

Major Anthony Telesca of the New York Army National Guard stressed the importance of recruitment in comments to Fox News Digital.

“Not only are you serving the flag and the nation as a whole, but you’re serving your community here in New York State,” he said.

“We’re shaping our organization with the future soldiers who are going to serve our communities and also across seas.”

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Webb gave a shout-out to her own recruiter for sparking the idea to join the Army as part of her path toward a career in medicine. She hopes to achieve her dream of starting a nonprofit organization for the disabled, she said.

Four police officers stand guard as military service members and families carry the American flag onto the field at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.

Four police officers stand guard as military service members and families carry the American flag onto the field at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6, 2022.
(Angelica Stabile/Fox News Digital)

Lombardo said recruitment efforts are all about informing Americans about the U.S. Army.

“We want America to know who we are,” he said. “To let communities know what we do and how we support our nation.”

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U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stitt, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, thanked this year’s scholarship recipients and others who’ve stepped up to join the Armed Forces, since they’re among the less than 1% of Americans who do so these days.

“It just speaks to them and their character,” he said. 

“We welcome them and congratulate them,” he said. “They’re joining the best team because they’re going to don the uniform of the United States of America.”

For those interested in learning more about the Minuteman Scholarship, Lombardo encouraged students to contact any professor at a college or university with an ROTC program.

Prospective recipients can also visit www.usar.army.mil/educational-benefits to find an in-state Army Reserve ambassador.

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Eligible candidates must achieve a 2.5 GPA or higher, have acceptable scoring on standardized testing and participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/military-recruits-receive-full-tuition-scholarships-rotc-schools-new-york-jets-game

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On this day in history, Jan. 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger explodes, shocking the nation

On this day in history, Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger — scheduled for a routine launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida — exploded after just 73 seconds in flight, killing all seven Americans on board.

The disaster shocked the nation — and led to an immediate pause in the space shuttle program.

The cause of the disaster was found to be the failure of the primary and secondary redundant O-ring seals in a joint in the shuttle’s right solid rocket booster (SRB).

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While the mission on that fateful day in 1986 was supposed to be like any other routine mission, unusually cold temperatures caused the external tank to explode seconds into takeoff — causing the orbiter to disintegrate and the spacecraft to explode, according to NASA. 

The space shuttle Challenger lifts off on Jan. 28, 1986. Carrying seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into its launch — killing all on board. 

The space shuttle Challenger lifts off on Jan. 28, 1986. Carrying seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into its launch — killing all on board. 
(Bob Pearson/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to highly experienced astronauts, the Challenger carried a special passenger on board: teacher Christa McAuliffe. 

She was a social studies teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, chosen from among 10,000 others who applied to be the first private citizen in space, according to Britannica. 

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In her application, McAuliffe said she would keep a journal about her experience — and would include sections about her training, the flight experience and her feelings about returning to Earth.

One of the reasons McAuliffe was chosen, apparently, was her teaching experience — and the way she would be able to connect with children across the country. 

This November 1985 file provided by NASA shows the crew of the U.S space shuttle Challenger. Front row, from left: astronauts Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair; back row, from left: Ellison Onizuka, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judith Resnik.

This November 1985 file provided by NASA shows the crew of the U.S space shuttle Challenger. Front row, from left: astronauts Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair; back row, from left: Ellison Onizuka, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judith Resnik.
(NASA/AFP via Getty Images)

And that is why, on the day of the launch, scores of students in schools across the country watched as a teacher launched into space for the first time ever. 

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It was unfortunate timing for young children to watch this particular launch — something President Reagan was worried about when he was deciding how to address Americans later that evening.

Leading up to Challenger

Americans had been visiting space for decades before that — the first time in 1961, with U.S. Navy test pilot Alan Shepard. 

Shepard was the second man in space following the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin just a mere weeks before. 

By 1969, space travel had progressed to visiting the moon — something the U.S. successfully completed with Apollo 11 that year.

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However, with this success, Americans began to fear the government was spending too much on space, according to NASA. 

A reusable manned spacecraft then became a focus by the Nixon administration, and the space shuttle program was born.

Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986), wearing a blue NASA jumpsuit, smiles in a studio portrait while holding a model of a space shuttle at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Sept. 26, 1985. She was the first private citizen to go into space on the shuttle.

Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986), wearing a blue NASA jumpsuit, smiles in a studio portrait while holding a model of a space shuttle at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Sept. 26, 1985. She was the first private citizen to go into space on the shuttle.
(Space Frontiers/Archive Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Challenger’s first mission was in April 1983 — and it quickly became one of the most popular spacecrafts to be used in the following three years, according to NASA.

The annual State of the Union address for early 1986 had been scheduled to take place on the evening of the Challenger’s launch — but given the tragedy, President Reagan chose to delay the address by a week. 

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”

Instead, that night, Reagan did address the nation but from the familiar Oval Office instead. 

President Reagan addresses the nation about the Challenger shuttle disaster, on Jan. 28, 1986, from the Oval Office of the White House.  

President Reagan addresses the nation about the Challenger shuttle disaster, on Jan. 28, 1986, from the Oval Office of the White House.  
(Diana Walker/Getty Images)

Reagan began by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d planned to speak to you tonight to report on the State of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans.”

He went on, “Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.”

Mandana Marsh holds her daughter, Molly, 4, as they watched TV coverage hours after the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger inside their home in Concord, New Hampshire, on Jan. 28, 1986. When her mother explained what happened, young Molly asked,

Mandana Marsh holds her daughter, Molly, 4, as they watched TV coverage hours after the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger inside their home in Concord, New Hampshire, on Jan. 28, 1986. When her mother explained what happened, young Molly asked, “Can’t Christa swim?” 
(Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

In his speech, Reagan also expressed a willingness to remain steadfast in the pursuit of space flight — but also, he focused on the families of those who were aboard the Challenger and on the children who were watching the flight from their classrooms or homes.

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“I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen,” Reagan told the country that night.

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave,” Reagan also said.

“The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future — and we’ll continue to follow them.”

On this day in history, Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger spacecraft exploded — killing all seven passengers aboard. That evening, President Reagan addressed the nation from the Oval Office about the tragedy.  

On this day in history, Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger spacecraft exploded — killing all seven passengers aboard. That evening, President Reagan addressed the nation from the Oval Office about the tragedy.  
(Getty Images)

The next mission launch was over two-and-a half years later, in September 1988 — named the “Return to Flight” mission. 

The mission lasted for four days and included 64 orbits around the planet.

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It ended with a successful landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, according to NASA. 

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JCPenney partners with shelters to help senior dogs like Kofi of Texas find a home

JCPenney is partnering with local shelters around the country to help adoptable senior dogs find their forever homes. 

The large retailer is taking its well-known JCPenney-style portraits of the dogs — so that interested adopters can step forward to help animals in need. 

Kofi is a spaniel mix at the Dallas Pets Alive organization in Dallas, Texas — and he desperately needs a home.

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Kofi is looking for a forever home where he could spend the last chapter of his life. 

He is well-behaved and considered docile — fully content with just sitting quieting next to his new owner, according to the organization.

Kofi is a senior spaniel mix who weighs about 35 pounds. He needs a forever home.

Kofi is a senior spaniel mix who weighs about 35 pounds. He needs a forever home.
(JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch)

Kofi has a black-and-gold coloring and his fur is said to be silky soft — making him an easy dog to keep petting. 

He weighs roughly 35 pounds and enjoys going on walks, Fox News Digital is told.

“We’re excited to give the senior dogs in these shelters their chance to shine.”

He also gets along well with others — so having other pets or children in the house could be good for him. 

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Kofi is spayed, neutered, microchipped and up-to-date on all vaccines. 

JCPenney is partnering with local shelters around the country to help adoptable senior dogs find their forever homes. 

JCPenney is partnering with local shelters around the country to help adoptable senior dogs find their forever homes. 
(JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch)

He is just one of the many dogs featured in JCPenney’s new campaign about shelter dogs and JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch. 

Bill Cunningham, JCPenney’s vice president of marketing strategy, said the occasion is special for many reasons. 

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“We’re excited to give the senior dogs in these shelters, who are often less likely to be adopted, their chance to shine and encourage customers to get involved with their local communities to change a pet’s life for the better,” Cunningham said in a media statement. 

Kofi is located at Dallas Pets Alive, an organization in Dallas, Texas. 

Kofi is located at Dallas Pets Alive, an organization in Dallas, Texas. 
(JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch)

The partnership runs from Jan. 24 through Feb. 28. 

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Those interested can visit JCP.com to see new adoptable pets … and some adorable portraits. 

JCPenney is partnering with local shelters across the country to try to help senior adoptable dogs find homes. 

JCPenney is partnering with local shelters across the country to try to help senior adoptable dogs find homes. 
(JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch)

JCPenney will also be donating $1,000 to each of the 10 shelters it’s partnered with to help animals find homes.

The shelters are located in 10 different cities around the country: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia and Phoenix. 

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For more information on Kofi, anyone interested can visit dallaspetsalive.org or email adopt@dallaspetsalive.org.

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They risked their lives for others: Author Richard Hurowitz remembers unsung heroes of the Holocaust

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designated as such by the United Nations. 

Why this date?  

On this date in history, Jan. 27, 1945, the infamous Nazi German slave labor and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by the Soviet army.

The day recalls the killing of six million Jews as well as millions of other people by the Nazi regime and collaborators.

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But there are scores of interconnected stories as well.

“During the Holocaust,” wrote Richard Hurowitz in a recent essay in The Wall Street Journal, “citizens from Denmark to Greece protected their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis by standing together.”

Richard Hurowitz's new book is

Richard Hurowitz’s new book is “In the Garden of the Righteous: The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save Jews During the Holocaust.”
(Richard Hurowitz/Donna Newman)

Most of these heroic individuals were and are still largely unknown. 

Remembering the horrors of war — and chronicling how brave people, in the face of fear, brutality and cruelty, stood up for other human beings even when their own lives were on the line — is the job of historians, authors, journalists and others who believe the truth needs to be passed along to new generations.

“In the Garden of the Righteous” pays tribute to those who risked everything for others.

In this spirit, writer and investor Richard Hurowitz has just released a new book, “In the Garden of the Righteous: The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save Jews During the Holocaust” (HarperCollins), which pays tribute to those who risked their very existence to help others in trouble.

Among them are Adolf and Maria Althoff, who hid Jewish acrobatic performers in plain sight from the Nazis — and Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali, who faked long-distance practice runs to sneak forged identity papers that saved hundreds of people.

Hurowitz, based in New York, is publisher of The Octavian Report, a quarterly “journal of ideas.” He is chief executive officer of Octavian and Company LLC, an investment firm.

Just ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Fox News Digital posed three questions to the author.

‘An under-covered topic’

Fox News Digital: Why did you write this book now? 

Richard Hurowitz: Rescue during the Holocaust and the courage of those who risked their lives to save Jews and others is an extremely under-covered topic — yet people find it enormously inspirational.  

Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg are well known, but beyond those two archetypes very few rescuers have gotten the acclaim they deserve.  

Author Richard Hurowitz told Fox News Digital that his new book "grew out of several profiles I wrote for newspapers of individual rescuers — and the response was extraordinary."

Author Richard Hurowitz told Fox News Digital that his new book “grew out of several profiles I wrote for newspapers of individual rescuers — and the response was extraordinary.”
(Courtesy Richard Hurowitz)

Some of the people rescued in my book were or went on to have enormous impact on the world — from the physicist Niels Bohr to the artist Mark Chagall to many members of royalty — while most were ordinary refugees.  

The book grew out of several profiles I wrote for newspapers of individual rescuers — and the response was extraordinary. 

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I think people are looking for stories of inspiration and courage during our own difficult times. 

At a time of rising bigotry, anti-Semitism, polarization and conflict, I think these stories are extremely timely.

‘I hope people are inspired’

Fox News Digital: If you wanted readers to have one memorable takeaway from your book, what would it be?

Hurowitz: I hope people are inspired by these stories and learn about some of history’s forgotten heroes. 

And I hope they are inspired and remember that there is good in the world and that everyone can make a difference.  

It is not just in times of utmost peril like the Second World War

Indeed, we can avoid our society heading in that direction by standing up for the values of compassion, kindness and tolerance.  

There were even communities in Europe during the war — such as Denmark or the village of Le Chambon in France — where the entire group stood together against the Nazis. And were able to save almost all their Jewish neighbors.  

So I hope the book is a message of hope — and [that it] offers lessons on how we can make our world a better place.

‘Rescues echo down through the generations’

Fox News Digital: What stays with you in terms of reporting and writing the book?

Hurowitz: I have had the profound experience, when I’ve written about rescuers, to hear from people I personally know who are alive today because their family was saved by them. 

Rescues echoes down through the generations. 

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There are possibly one million people alive today because of the 10 rescues profiled in the book. 

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And at least some of [these people] many of us probably know — and some of them have themselves done extraordinary things that would have been lost to us had it not been for courage eight decades ago.

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