The American Legion Boys Nation invites just 100 boys in the nation to Washington D.C. each year to participate in a mock party convention.  

This year, Braden Whitelatch from Wheeling Central Catholic High School is one of two boys from West Virginia selected to participate.  

Serving as president of student council, being a member of academic honors societies, and being the captain of the football team are just a few life experiences that have prepared Braden to be a leader for West Virginia. 

Boys Nation has many notable alumni such as former President Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Neil Armstrong, and many more. 

Each student senator wrote a bill to introduce to the Senate committee, and Braden says that he has hopes of his going further than Boys Nation, as well as becoming a name among “the greats.” 

“With Red Flag Laws, it would still allow people to have their firearms, but once they are deemed a threat that the state or the government can come in, have a court ruling or hearing and see if they should be able to have these weapons or not, which could help prevent suicides, mass shootings, all of that.  It’s kind of insane. You got to take a minute sometimes and you read the names and you’re like ‘Oh my gosh. Look at that. I’m up there with them.’ So, hopefully, I can live my life maybe not even doing like what they did, but I can carve out my life how I want it to be and hopefully, people will be like ‘Wow. You know, I went to Boys Nation – Braden went to Boys Nation, you know. Something like that. That’s my hope at least.”

Braden Whitelatch – 2022 American Legion Boys Nation Senator