Siblings share first Parents’ Weekend as fellow cadets
Cadet 4th Class Riley Glenn poses with her brother, Cadet 1st Class Connor Glenn, and their parents, Kristine and Tom Glenn, during U.S. Air Force Academy Parents’ Weekend 2023 Sept. 1. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Patrick Brush)
By Randy Roughton
U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.- It was obvious to Kristine Glenn that her daughter Riley would do everything she could to follow her brother’s footsteps and attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. The look on Riley’s face as she sat in a glider at Parents’ Weekend in 2022 was clear.
“When I saw her sitting in that glider smiling, I said the Air Force Academy might be winning right now,” Glenn said of her daughter’s college decision.
Riley Glenn sits in a soaring program glider at Stillman Field while visiting her brother, now Cadet 1st Class Connor Glenn, during Parents’ Weekend Sept. 2,2022. Riley is now a cadet fourth class at the U.S. Air Force Academy. (Photo courtesy of Cadet 4th Class Riley Glenn)
Parents’ Weekend 2023
Riley joined her brother, Cadet 1st Class Connor Glenn, in the Cadet Wing after she completed Basic Cadet Training in August. She saw her parents, Tom and Kristine Glenn, again for the first time since In-processing Day at Parents’ Weekend.
Parents’ Weekend, an annual event over the Labor Day holiday weekend, is an opportunity for cadets to connect with their families at the start of the academic year. This year’s activities included the Cadet Wing Parade, aerial demonstrations, a planetarium open house, an information fair, and the football team’s season-opener against Robert Morris University.
The Glenn family experienced their third Parents Weekend and eighth trip to the Academy since the parents brought Connor for a tour in April 2019. Unfortunately, the Academy’s Parents’ Weekend in 2020 was canceled because of COVID-19 during Connor’s freshman year. But the family made their own informal parents’ weekend happen when their son informed them that he had a weekend pass.
Motivating family time
Still, the cancellation during his freshman year made Parents’ Weekend 2021 more special, and he understood how his sister felt at this year’s event, he said.
“It’s just a huge motivator to have them back again, even if it’s just for a few days,” Connor said. “It really motivates the freshmen because they’re typically in a low-energy state right now after [Basic Cadet Training] and the transition of the academic year. When the first official Parents’ Weekend came around my sophomore year, it was cool being able to show them everything we do.”
Cadet 1st Class Connor Glenn with his sister, Cadet 4th Class Riley Glenn, during U.S. Air Force Academy Parents’ Weekend Sept. 1, 2023. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Patrick Brush)
Following her brother’s path
Connor’s path toward an Academy education began after his sophomore year in high school. His grandfather, Ray Aschettino, introduced him to fighter aircraft at an air show in Dayton, Ohio. Riley became interested in the Academy three years later when the family dropped off her brother at the Academy on In-processing Day in 2020.
“I came out and visited six times throughout his years and toured the Academy with him.,” she said. “I got to see the cadet life. I love everything about the Academy, the environment that the Academy fosters and all the opportunities that the classes have.”
This year’s Parents’ Weekend was the family’s first time together since they dropped Riley off in June. She joined the Academy’s dance team, and the family enjoyed watching her perform with her teammates at the Falcons’ first home football game of the season.
See more photos of Parents’ Weekend 2023 on Flickr.