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Ex-RHS Youth Graduates From Annapolis
The success story of a local boy and 2003 Riverbank High graduate continues.

Four years after leaving RHS with a full ride scholarship to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in Maryland, Calvin Vernon has graduated from the Academy, been commissioned as an officer and is now serving in Japan. He also, by the way, has earned a degree in systems engineering.

Vernon was cadet commander of the RHS Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps unit in his senior year. He was awarded the scholarship to Annapolis, reckoned to be worth $350,000, on the recommendation of Congressman Gary Condit.

Ranked as an ensign or lieutenant junior grade, Vernon is now weapons officer of the Marines training ship U.S.S. Juneau based in Sasebo, Japan.

He is the son of Riverbank motorcycle officer Sheriff's Deputy Gary Vernon and his wife Cheryl who also have six other sons, Wace, Jon, Eli, Nick, Nathan and Jake and an 11-months-old daughter Lyly.

All the family, except Jake who is also in the Navy and serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Eisenhower based in Norfolk, Virginia, attended Calvin's graduation from Annapolis on May 25.

"It's not that we're proud or anything," said his father. " But he was the youngest male midshipman in his class when he went there at 17. There were 1,200 in his class and about 1,000 graduated. He graduated with a 3.86 GPA."

Displaying photographs of the Annapolis graduation at their home just east of Riverbank, Gary Vernon recalled the famous Blue Angels aerobatics team flew so low over the stadium the smoke from their exhaust set the crowd coughing.

The graduates also went through the time-honored custom of hurling their hats into the air at the ceremony's conclusion.

After four years wearing the same hat and uniform, the officers are entitled to new gear, Vernon commented, and family members are encouraged to retrieve and keep the hats. The Vernon boys got theirs.