One of this year's new recruits at the USA's elite West Point Military Academy comes from a strong and proud Kilkenny lineage.
Brian James Thornton is the son of Mark Thornton, originally from Larchfield,Kilkenny. Mark attended the DeLaSalle School in Patrick Street and then Kilkenny City Vocational School in New Street. His mother is Una Agnes Thornton from the 'Village and his father was James Thornton from Durrow, County Laois.
His grandfather was Bobby Brannigan from the 1939 Thunder and Lightning All-Ireland, and a local plumber, and his grandmother was Veronica Brannigan from Fr Hayden Rd, Kilkenny.
Markl is currently living in the Princess Anne, Maryland, USA.
Brian has been accepted and is currently attending West Point Military Academy West Point was ranked No 1 college in the USA by Forbes magazine last year and is also ranked the premier military school in the world.
“Brian and his sister Nicole spent many summer and Christmas, holidays in Kilkenny and hold it so dear to their hearts,” says proud dad Mark.
“A Kilkenny man in West Point.”
Brian entered West Point on June 27 and has successfully completed six weeks of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy.
The initial military training programme provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training.
Brian began classes on August 15. The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.
Brian plans to graduate from West Point in 2020, and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US army.