Staff Sergeant Vito T. Bryan took an amazing photograph during a West Point graduation ceremony of the United States Military Academy of an emotional soldier in tears. The photo was posted on the official West Point USMA Instagram account and quickly went viral on social media.

“No greater feeling than that of accomplishment,” the caption reads along with a hashtag of West Point’s motto: Duty • Honor • Country.

Alix Idrache, the soldier in the photograph, couldn’t believe that this photo was seen by millions on the internet and decided to share some of his thoughts on joining the United States military. He especially wanted to thank everyone for all the positive comments he’s received.

“I want to thank everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments on this picture. SSG Bryant captured a moment that I will never forget. At this moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions.

Three things came to mind and led to those tears. The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.

The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath. Men who preserved the Union in a dark period of this country’s history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism and nazism. Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.

The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to FT. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life.

To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you

The Independent Journal Review got in touch with the recently graduated soldier and asked him why he wanted to become an American soldier.

Alix revealed that he had an immensely tough childhood in his home country Haiti and that the soldiers of the United States inspired him.

He signed up for the military because he was intrigued by their free education program but later realized that the “opportunity to fight for a powerful idea” was much more meaningful to him.

“After signing up for selective service, I started receiving pamphlets from the Navy and Army National Guard. There was the promise of free college, which was very intriguing.

More importantly, there was the image of the American soldier that I’ve always had and I was excited to become one. There was often US military presence when I was growing up and I was always infatuated by the soldiers.

After enlisting, it became more than a path to a college education but an opportunity to fight for a powerful idea. I may be naive or idealistic, but I find this a very noble calling.

When I was growing up, Haiti had to be demilitarized because the army was committing atrocities and it was corrupt. I’m not saying this army is perfect and it has certainly endured some tough times with integration and the post-Vietnam era.

However, knowing that there are millions of men and women who are willing to give their most precious gift because they swear to protect and defend an idea, is very appealing to me.”

What an amazing story!

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