Former Texas County resident Barbara “Miki” Hathaway is entering her third year at West Point United States Military Academy in New York, majoring in American law and legal studies.

Hathaway, who grew up in Plato and did most of her schooling there, graduated early from Inman High School in Inman, Kan., in 2006.

After enlisting in the army at the age of 20, her high marks in testing caught the attention of West Point, which is known for its grueling admissions process and training of cadets.

Hathaway went to basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and has since been awarded the National Defense and Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and an Airborne Badge.

An avid seeker of challenges, she is considering a double major in Russian and becoming an adjutant general officer, possibly transitioning later to JAG.

This summer, Hathaway has been working as an intern with the district attorney’s office in Reno County, Kan., and has observed local prosecutors in jury trials, drug court, and at the Kansas Court of Appeals. She has also accompanied Reno County sheriff’s officers checking up on residual marijuana crop in the county, and observed an autopsy.

“I wanted her to be exposed to the real life of a district attorney’s office as much as she could be,” Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder said.

Given the chance to choose where to train during summer break from West Point, Hathaway could have gone virtually anywhere, including the United States Congress, Supreme Court and the FBI. She chose Reno County and has been staying with her mother Barb Helman and stepfather Dave Helman near Windom, Kan.

“I wanted to spend time with my family,” she said.

Hathaway still remembers the day four years ago when she was bored with her job at Walmart and walked into an army recruitment center in Salina, Kan.

“Can you get me out of here in a week?” she asked.

They did.

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