President and CEO Sally Ride Science

August 5, 2010

Dear "Flying Midshipmen" (and women) Cadets:

You deserve to be proud of yourselves! Instead of basking at the beach or playing video games, you decided to set a goal for yourselves this summer by coming to the USS Midway Museum and studying diligently. I congratulate you in this first step in your aviation careers. Now I urge you to continue your study in aviation, sci­ence, math and technology to firmly embrace and experience the fascinating world around you.

Remember also that you have inherited a rich legacy from the original Flying Mid­shipmen who mentor and sponsor your program. These aviators rose to the call when our country needed them. Because of their dedication and perseverance you have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your individual dreams. I hope you'll , remember this legacy as you alertly seek out new opportunities and dare to take chances. My own career was enhanced by a teacher who mentored me at your age, and my career expanded by taking a chance on answering the newspaper adver­tisement seeking applicants for the space program.

You are our country's future. I wish you courage and determination to dream big, reach for the stars and may you have boundless horizons. I also leave you with the. thought from a former Flying Midshipman and fellow astronaut, Neil Armstrong: "Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like .flying."

Fair skies to each one of you!