ADA, Mich. -- This year's graduating class at Forest Hills Northern High School is unique: seven children from one family in Ada will graduate, five of whom will join the military, including quadruplets.
Seven graduates in one family, and twelve makes the Lees’ family dozen, including adopted, fostered and embryo children. And each of the quadruplets will serve in a different branch of the military.
"We’ve been pretty close ever since we were little, and now we’re going down our own paths, so it’s kind of sad," said Rose Lees, a quadruplet enlisting in the Air Force, working to become an emergency medicine doctor.
Bryce, Rose, Mason and Nevin Lees will become members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Air National Guard and Marine Corps, respectively, as they inspire each other to follow the footsteps of their grandfather and brother-in-law. Nevin is already in Marine Corps training in North Carolina.
"Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to serve," said Rose Lees, "I just want to help out our world."
As the three quadruplets sat beside each other at home, they reflected on their schooling together and made a point to thank their teachers.
"We have friends but we like to make deeper connections with I’d say our teachers," said Mason Lees.
“We kind of just get to know our teachers a lot better and get the connections. You don’t realize people’s lives are a lot different: they actually have stuff going on, not just grade our papers and stuff, they’re actual people."
And while they’re excited for the future, they’re thankful as they look back on their past, giggling turning pages in their yearbooks.
"Don’t take the time that you have for granted," said Rose Lees. "People may think that they really can’t make a change because we’re so young and that we don’t have a say. But we actually have the biggest impact out there."