WHEATLAND - J.P. Anderson, an incoming senior at Wheatland High School, has been selected as a senator for American Legion Boys Nation in the Washington, D.C. area, July 22-29.
Boys Nation is an annual American Legion program that includes civic training, leadership development and a focus on Americanism. Anderson was elected Governor during his week at Wyoming Boys State; he was also elected City Council President and appointed Attorney. American Legion Post 10 in Wheatland sponsored Anderson’s week at Wyoming Boys State, which had 41 participants.
At Wheatland High School, Anderson has served as student council vice president. He has multiple letters in basketball, where he is team captain; football, where he was selected comeback player of the year; and baseball. His other activities and accomplishments include youth group, lector, senior honor roll, National Honor Society and top junior lifter.
Anderson is also an avid sportsman in Wyoming and is proficient in the field especially with his bow. He is planning on following in his brother Luke’s footsteps, hoping to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“Three years ago my older brother was selected to attend Boys’ State,” Anderson said. “At that time, I had no idea what the program was about. He was then selected to go to Washington D.C. for Boys’ Nation where he would meet the previous vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. After hearing about his experience, I knew I wanted to attend Boys’ State as well. The honor of meeting our nation’s top government officials and representing our small state of Wyoming inspired me to attend and learn everything I could. .
“In June, I was selected to attend Boys’ State. When I first arrived I was extremely nervous about making new friends and running for elected state offices against people I had never met before. I met some great kids from across the state, gave many speeches, ran for office and was elected as Governor and selected to attend Boys’ Nation. Throughout the time I was at Boys’ State I learned a great deal about our state government. I participated in mock trials and legislative sessions that allowed me to see how we function at the state level. I even had the honor of touring the governor’s office along with having lunch with the governor himself.
“The only reason I was given the opportunity to attend Boys’ State was because of our very own Post 10 American Legion. They completely funded my experience at Boys’ State because they believed that I would represent Wheatland to the best of my ability. Now, after representing Wheatland on the State level, I have the amazing opportunity to represent our town and our state at the federal level. I am looking forward to the experience and can not wait to meet the leaders of our country.”
About Boys Nation:
During their eight days at American Legion Boys Nation, 100 “senators” will learn from a hands-on approach how the U.S. Senate and the federal government function. Young men are divided into two political parties, the Federalists and the Nationalists, each of which conducts a party convention, sets a platform and nominates members for elected offices, including Boys Nation president, vice president and party leaders. Each senator will also write, introduce and debate a bill of his choosing before an appropriate Senate committee, and if successful at that level the legislation will be voted on by the whole Senate. Bills passing the Senate are later signed or vetoed by the Boys Nation president.
The young men will also have an opportunity to tour the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall and Korean War Memorial. They will also present a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, see the Iwo Jima Memorial and meet virtually with their state’s U.S. senators. They may have the opportunity to visit the White House as well. In addition, delegates will attend a dinner at a nearby American Legion post hosted by National Commander Paul E. Dillard of Texas.
This year’s crop of Boys Nation senators represents the finest of nearly 17,000 incoming seniors who attended Boys State programs. Famous Boys Nation alumni include former President Bill Clinton, actor Donal Logue, Govs. Chris Christie and Scott Walker, and Sens. Mike Lee and Tom Cotton. Notable Boys State alumni include Tom Brokaw, Michael Jordan, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Neil Armstrong, Roger Ebert and Justice Samuel Alito.