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Induction Day Marks The Start Of Grueling Plebe Summer At The Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)-- More than 1,200 men and women began their four-year journey on Thursday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Monique Griego was there for the tough goodbyes as Induction Day 2012 got underway.

It was a morning full of emotions. While sunglasses hid many tears, pride and excitement are the overwhelming feelings this Induction Day.

"This is a big deal. He came to me and wanted to do this," Jourdan Sarpy, a parent, said.

"I'm just proud, very proud of him. This is his dream what he's always wanted to do," parent Diane Briggs said.

Diane Briggs' son Kyle Briggs is one of 1,200 men and women who began their new lives as plebes at the U.S. Naval Academy.

"You ready? Just go down through those doors. Let the journey begin!"

Those are likely the last pleasantries before the grueling six weeks of training known as Plebe Summer begins.

"It is tough but we know it's going to be rewarding," Wes Polly, a parent, said.

"All the anticipation is kind of getting old. Just want to be there, want to get it over with," Angela Carandang, a plebe, said.

There are a lot of things to do from the check-in to a maze of instructions that includes getting fitted for your uniform and picking up the Academy's equivalent to the Holy Bible.

"This day is going to be a little nerve-wrecking because that's how they want it to be," Colston Polly, a plebe, said.

But the toughest part of day usually gets left behind as barbers shave off in seconds what takes months to grow.

The rituals these plebes will complete on Thursday are not only meant to make them feel like their part of a family, they're also to level the playing field.

While there's no doubt these plebes are starting at the bottom, the training, education and even the yelling will prepare them for bigger things.

Induction Day ends at 6 p.m. on Thursday with plebes taking an oath. Then, the physical works begins bright and early Friday.

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