Ever since I can remember, I had loved the thought of flying. There I was, laying a blanket across my backyard during the summer, as I look at the planes flying over my head towards the near Chicago O'Hare airport. Flying. To me, nothing is more thrilling. The thought of this large body flying over my head at hundreds of miles per hour with many passengers towards whichever destination is beyond exciting to me. I want to be a pilot, and that passion had only grown as I became older. By inexorable determination and my mindset of never giving up, I had received a full-ride Navy ROTC scholarship to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona and was on the fast track to accomplishing my dream. But this week, everything changed.

My two greatest passions are service and flying. I love to serve others, so naturally my career choice would align with my greatest desires by pursuing to be an aviator in the United States Navy. There is nothing more that I want to do than to use my love for flying to serve my country through its Navy. Ever since I had set my eyes on becoming a naval aviator, I had worked tirelessly to become a naval officer, with the goal of being a midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. Through never-ceasing hard work, I had received a 32 superscore on my ACT and a highest score of 31, became an AP Scholar with Distinction, and became a leader within many positions, one being the Company Commanding Officer of my Navy JROTC unit. -Click this link for my full resume w/ people led-  It seemed that I was on my way to achieving my dream, especially when I had received my Congressional Nomination for USNA, but I was hit with a medical concern that no longer limits me, and it shows. 

When I was a kid, I became sick and lost half of my hearing in my left ear and slight hearing in my right ear. This caused me to need help with hearing aids. But, as time went on, my hearing had gotten better and I stopped needing my hearing aids when I started high school.  Today, I have perfect hearing in my right ear and 30% loss of hearing (in terms of word recognition) in my left ear. This slight hearing loss doesn't limit me. In fact, I have the highest medical certification (first-class), which is the necessary certification for commerical airline pilots, and I have flown as a co-pilot with Young Eagles many times. 

However, this medical disability that now longer exists has become my downfall in my dream. Although it no longer limits me, I received a letter from the Department of Defense Medical Review Board (DODMERB) that I will not be considered for a medical waiver. No longer will I be able to use my love of aviation to serve my country in the United States Navy and I can no longer afford to support my dream. 

Please consider making whatever donation that you can to fix my broken dream. With your generosity, I will be on my way to flight school in Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and will be one step closer to accomplishing my dream of becoming a pilot.
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Tim Stricker 
Arlington Heights, IL
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