What's the best way to follow up a silver-medal-winning performance at a national powerlifting meet? Perhaps by glomming onto a huge educational opportunity--one, in fact, that is central to your main career goal. Are you ready for this?
Young Mike has been accepted into the U.S. Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy. Since graduating with honors from Florida State last spring and being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he's been on a one-year deferral from active duty to work on building a résumé that the Physical Therapy (PT) Program's admissions committee might find impressive. (This was critical, since the Program is mainly for Army personnel, with only a few slots each year given to Air Force applicants.) Mike did this partly by taking postgraduate coursework at FSU, but mostly through serving 327 PT volunteer and observation hours at numerous military and civilian medical facilities. (About 80 of these hours were completed during Christmas and summer breaks while he was still an undergrad.) His work included stints at Ft. Leavenworth, KS; the Leavenworth VA Medical Center; Moody Air Force Base; MacDill Air Force Base; and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (formerly the National Naval Medical Center) in Bethesda, MD. Mike also completed a course of study that led to his designation as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
The Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy is housed at Ft. Sam Houston, in San Antonio, TX, home to the Army Medical Department Center and School. Mike is to report there next October, though classes won't begin until January 2016. During the Program, all of Mike's living and educational expenses will be paid for by the Air Force. Two-and-a-half years later, when he completes training, he will go on active duty as a captain and an Air Force Physical Therapist.
Congratulations redux, Multitalented Mikey! And hey, if you continue with your hobby of lifting huge iron objects over your head, someday you'll be able to follow that sage advice: Physical therapist, heal thyself!
P.S. - I started to suspect there was something special about both Mike and his sister, Annabelle, when I saw this picture of them, taken when they were kids:
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