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Sgt. Anthony Egan, a Marine reservist, has done the easy stuff: made Eagle Scout, saw combat in Iraq, and secured a position in the New York Police Department. Now, he wants to be an astronaut.
Egan is a contestant in the Axe Apollo Space Academy contest. The popular body spray manufacturer is offering to shuttle two winners 64 miles into space via the space tourism company SpaceXC.
“Leave a man. Come back a hero,” the company promises. You've probably seen the TV commercials.
The 20 contestants who receive the most votes online will be sent to a rigorous space training camp in Orlando, Fla. From there, the toughest two will get the coveted seats on the spacecraft.
A 26-year-old bachelor from Staten Island, N.Y., Egan already has a résumé that reads like the archetypal American hero. In addition to his two years on active duty as a nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons specialist, his 2006 tour in Iraq, and his current job as a patrol officer with the NYPD, he volunteers for the Boy Scouts, the New York Blood Center and the Knights of Columbus.
But space has always been an elusive dream.
“My whole life, I've always told people I wanted to be an astronaut,” Egan said. “People say to me, ‘Isn't space a little far-fetched?' I look them in the face and say, ‘No dream is far-fetched when you care enough about it.'”
His campaign to win includes a homemade website and a Facebook page featuring his face superimposed into a spacesuit. Additionally, he's reaching out to those he's served and asking for their votes.
“I've been reaching out to community organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police, the Marine Corps League, the Knights of Columbus,” Egan said.
In March, Egan facilitated a career day workshop for youth leaders at the Greenpoint Youth Court in Brooklyn, sharing his own dream with the kids as he encouraged them to pursue their own. Several local newspapers and a TV station picked up the story about his space bid after the career day.
Now, Egan is just hoping for votes — a lot of votes. At press time, he was in 56th place on the Axe Apollo leaderboard, and gunning for a position in the top 20 by April 27, the contest end date.
Even if Egan makes it to space, he won't be out of life dreams: He's also hoping to climb Mount Everest.
To vote for Sgt. Anthony Egan and help him make it to space camp, visit www.egan2space.webs.com.