Howden cadet's American dream comes true as he joins USAF
A CADET is heading across the Atlantic to join the United States Air Force.
Matthew William-Boyce, 19, had always wanted to be in the Army.
A former member of the Howden cadet force, he is now taking advantage of his military experience and dual nationality to start a new life in America.
Matthew has an American father but grew up in Goole with his mum, Victoria.
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"It all started when my dad suggested it," Matthew said.
"He was in the US Army. The British forces take so long to get into. Normally, you have to wait a year to two years.
"With the US forces, it's a couple of months. I'm not really a patient guy, so I thought I would get straight into it."
Matthew first sent off an application form and did an aptitude test.
"I had to send off an educational certificate converted into the American grading system," he said.
"After that ,they contacted me for an appointment for paperwork and a medical and all that stuff."
A few weeks later, Matthew's family got the message he was hoping for.
"When my mum got the call, she couldn't stop giggling," he said.
"She's taken the next couple of weeks off work to get all my stuff together."
And he could be heading out to the US in a matter of weeks to begin his career.
"As soon as the paperwork is in, they will pick me up on the next aircraft," he said.
Then it will be straight into a basic training course at Lackland Air Force Base, near San Antonio in Texas.
There, Matthew will learn the general skills every soldier needs.
After that, he will be trained for a specific role in the air force. Matthew said: "When I'm in basic training, in the fourth or fifth week, they will have a sit-down with the trainees.
"They will look at our aptitude scores and see what vacancies they've got.
"It could be from a couple of months to a whole year for training after that, depending on the job."
Matthew has just finished an engineering course at Selby College and helps out at his step-dad's mechanic business.
He hopes to put this background to practical use as an aircraft metals technology specialist.
"It would be making stuff from scratch," he said.
"I did machine work in college and that's what I want to do."
Matthew will leave his family, friends and dogs behind when he moves away.
And lifestyle changes also lie ahead.
The American drinking age is 21 – so there will be no pints for the next two years.
"There's going to be a lot of changes," Matthew said.
"I don't know how I'm going to cope without drinking. But it will be fine – I've already stopped smoking, which was the hardest part."