West Point grad’s emotional graduation photo goes viral

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

On Saturday, 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache experienced a moment he would never forget.  During his commencement ceremony at West Point, Idrache was overwhelmed thinking about how far he’d come and began to cry. A photographer captured the special moment and the image has since gone viral.

Idrache immigrated to the United States from Haiti in 2009 and served two years as an enlisted soldier with the Maryland Army National Guard after he earned his citizenship.  He was appointed to be a Regimental Commander among his fellow 950 cadets last year.  The commencement ceremony was the culmination of years of hard work for Idrache.

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“I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments,” Idrache wrote Tuesday. “I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.”

“Three things came to mind and led to those tears,” Idrache wrote. “The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me. The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath.”

“Men who preserved the Union [in] a dark period of this country’s history.  Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism …Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.”

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The third thing, he said, was his future.

“Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words,” Idrache wrote. “I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.”

Idrache’s next stop is Fort Rucker in Alabama to start flight school.

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