Just a year ago, brothers Justin and Brandon Malone of Atascocita were settling into their studies and training at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Justin was a third-year cadet, and Brandon, a recent graduate of Atascocita High School, was a freshman.

After that successful year for both of them, only Justin returned to the Academy; Brandon had other plans.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, Brandon left his studies after his first year at to serve a two-year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It’s a difficult process to go through to be accepted at the Academy, and when Brandon returns in two years, he will be required to begin the whole application procedure again, including getting a congressional nomination.

Last year, both brothers were nominated for acceptance at the Academy by U.S. Representative Ted Poe, Texas 2nd District. Poe didn’t hesitate to endorse Brandon for the first time and Justin for the second time.

He said the young men represent the best of young people, not only in Texas but in the nation. “They’ve proven that service is important to them,” he said. “They’re smart and they’re qualified. We got a two-fer with these two.”