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Eddie and CONA delegates at the 2016 conference. Eddie is third from the left.

Today as we celebrate the Fourth of July, most are filled with a sense of patriotism and thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy each day. Every day there are people fighting to ensure our liberties and freedoms continue.

Many of us come to CONA because of this feeling of patriotism that drives us to try to improve our country. For one delegate that feeling of patriotism went beyond CONA and drove him to join the Navy. Edward (Eddie) Fantauzzo, a Colorado delegate, was supposed to be attending his third CONA conference this year; however, Eddie decided to make the brave leap of enlisting in the Navy. He is unable to attend CONA this year because he is supposed to ship out in early July to begin serving his country.

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Eddie with other Colorado YIG officers his junior year (2016). Eddie appears four from the left.

Throughout high school, Eddie participated in three years of Youth in Government and two CONA conferences. At CONA both of Eddie’s proposals dealt with education. The first was about providing a worldview/ world religion classes in schools and the second was about changing the maps we use in schools to teach geography so that they are more accurate for students.

During high school, Eddie participated in programs including speech and debate, Youth in Government, and of course, CONA. Unfortunately, Eddie had to find his own patriotism and forge his own path in the military. His very small high school, Resurrection Christian High School, did not offer any ROTC or military affiliated programs.

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Eddie with other delegates during the 2016 CONA conference. Eddie is on the right end in the black jacket and pants.

CONA and YIG have been driving forces in Eddie’s growing patriotism. He explains, “CONA showed me all the different ways that Americans live. Going to a Christian school kept me in a kind of bubble but YIG and CONA helped a lot and I felt what it meant to be an American it also helped open my eyes to many issues that we face and so I’m joining the navy to become a Navy Chaplin and I’m going to enlist in the meantime to gain experience with other sailors. I want to be a Chaplin because they help sailors with counseling and religious practices which and the two most important issues in my life and I have talked about them with many people at CONA which has grown my experience and knowledge on the subjects.”

So, as you enjoy this Independence Day at the beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly on top of The Mountain consider not only what we as delegates are doing to improve our country, but what others, including former delegates, are doing to serve our great country. Happy Fourth of July delegates!

By: Ashley Hatch, CO

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Eddie and the Colorado CONA delegation at the 2017 CONA conference closing ceremony

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