POINT PLEASANT — One local Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) graduate has spread his wings flying out into the world, but keeps his hometown close to his heart.
Hunter Bellamy, of Point Pleasant, graduated from PPJ/SHS in the spring of 2013 and then went on to attend Marshall University (MU) in the fall. During his sophomore at MU, he joined the ROTC program.
“My family has been in Point Pleasant since my grandparents Cliff and Eulah Bellamy set up shop there,” said Hunter. “They established a great reputation for the Bellamy name, which was continued by my father. I was held to that standard and was reminded when needed that neither myself, normy brother had any right to take away from that.”
During his time at PPJ/SHS, Hunter’s main focus was his football career.
“I made the varsity team my junior year as a defensive end,” said Hunter. “We went to the state championship that year, and lost, but it was still an honor to be a part of that team. I was one of four captains the next year along with my best friends Tylun Campbell, Dakota Jeffers, and Andrew Williamson.”
Bellamy was active in other extracurricular activities at PPJ/SHS as well as involved in his community. He coached youth league football his junior and senior year of high school with Campbell and Jeffers and he also participated in the theater program as a stage crew members. Being that his father Denny Bellamy is the Mason County tourism director, Hunter was involved with some interesting community projects such as getting to portray the Easter Bunny, participate as an Indian reenactor for the Siege of Fort Randolph, was involved with Mothman television shows, and help during the annual city-wide clean ups.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow up than Mason County,” said Hunter. “My experience was much like what you see in ‘Remember the Titans.’ As a member of a successful football team, it was like being a small town celebrity. Most of the enjoyment though came from the plethora of great friends I had in school and the community, and still have today.”
Though joining the military was not his primary planned goal for his life or a part of a family legacy, he still decided to join the MU ROTC program his sophomore year of college. During his high school years, he had considered joining ROTC, but made the final decision after speaking with Kelly Brewer, recruiting operations officer for MU ROTC.
“I decided to join the MU ROTC program when I realized I had to have something more than just school, something to drive me, and be a part of, I needed to be on a team I could be proud of again,” said Hunter. “ROTC did that for me and also gave me the opportunity to try the military without fully committing because in ROTC you have to earn your contract. After the first PT session, as I was in formation doing everything I could not to yack, I knew I had found my team and my new home. It was exactly what I needed and because they were so good to me and filled that void in my life, I gave everything I could back to the program. The cadet lounge and cadre offices became my home and the cadet battalion was my family.”
Hunter finished up his senior year at MU as the cadet Battalion Commander and the day before graduating college with his degrees in Environmental Science and Biology, he was commissioned as an armor officer in the West Virginia National Guard. He chose the path of The National Guard primarily so he could pursue his career in ecology and wildlife biology. Also, The National Guard allowed Hunter to train with a unit of his choosing as a cadet through his SMP program.
Currently, Hunter is finishing up his armor officer schooling in Fort Benning and when that is completed in June he will then head back home to start training with the 1/150th again.
After his time in The National Guard, Hunter plans on continuing his education and obtaining his Masters in Biology.
”As far as how long I’ll stay in military, I received some great advice from another MU ROTC graduate, Lieutenant General (ret.) Anthony G. Crutchfield. Take it one contract at a time,” said Bellamy. “I’m locked in for 8 years, once that’s done, if I’m still having enjoying myself and it makes sense, then I’ll stay.”
Hunter offers the upcoming Mason County high school graduates and Mason County high school students a few words of advice.
“Enjoy it. Being in a small town, it’s easy to get the attitude ‘there’s nothing here, I can’t wait to get out.’ I assure you that after talking with other people from all over the country and around the world, what we have in Mason County is very special and uncommon. We have a great, loving community and we don’t have to be as concerned for our safety on a day to day basis. Embrace each other and the small town lifestyle. If you think there’s nothing there, you should probably assess yourself before you start placing blame. Get outside and get involved in the community. For a small town, Point Pleasant stays pretty busy.” said Hunter. “Think big and go after the opportunities. There’s way more in the world than you can imagine. Being from a small town, you may think much is unattainable or only realistic to dream about. I highly recommend going to college, joining the military, or both due to the fact they present so many great life altering opportunities. You just have to have the guts to go after them and continuing pursuing them while taking the inevitable hits. Think hard about what you love and what you really want, then start moving. You don’t have to know every step to get there before you start, but you do have to start moving. You’ll figure the rest out in route as long as you have a goal in mind and you stay focused. Find a mentor. From coaches to teachers/professors, soldiers to great friends, I’ve always had mentors and someone that I looked to who set the example. Have that person in your life to get guidance from while you’re in route to your goal.”
For any students wanting someone for whom they can reach out, Hunter shared his door is always open.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.