ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/NewsChannel 8) - The U.S. Naval Academy class of 2018 got to see their families for the first time since they began plebe summer about six weeks ago.
The students entering their first year at the academy visited with family on Friday after their noon meal. There were a lot of pictures and a few tears.
The new students arrived at the academy on July 1.
During their training so far, plebes faced 140 hours of grueling physical exercises, with no television, no internet and restricted access to cell phones.
"[The six weeks of training] had their ups and downs. For some people, it was more downs than ups. Some, the other way around. But it's really about your attitude," said plebe Grant Thornton.
"Yeah, the six weeks, it's rough," agreed plebe Victoria Reyna. "But that's just molding us into the people we need to be in the Marines or in the Navy."
There are 1,192 students in the class of 2018. The class includes 303 women, or about 25 percent of the class. That's the largest number of women the academy has had in a class.
There also are 402 minority midshipmen, about 34 percent of the class.
The academy says the class of 2017 was comprised of 23 percent women and 33 percent minority midshipmen.