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Navy-bound couple celebrates at West Babylon prom

Gage Finn and Haley Higginson at the West

Gage Finn and Haley Higginson at the West Babylon High School prom at The Sand Castle in Franklin Square on June 21, 2017. Photo Credit: Marlo Jappen

Haley Higginson and Gage Finn wore matching black attire to the West Babylon High School prom at The Sand Castle in Franklin Square on Wednesday night.

Matching attire is something they’re going to have to get used to, as both are joining the United States Navy after graduation.

“I was born to do it,” Finn said outside the prom while taking in The Sand Castle’s fresh air.

For Higginson, a Canadian citizen who came to the United States when she was 3 years old, joining the Navy wasn’t as obvious of a path. She recalled leaving her information with a recruiter during one of the school’s career fairs.

“I never would have had the courage to do it before they contacted me,” Higginson said. “You’ve got to want to do it. I want to serve the country where I live.”

Finn said he received support from guidance counselor and military liaison Stephen Dombo.

On Memorial Day, Higginson, Finn, and Jailene Duarate, also a senior at West Babylon High School, joined other Navy-bound students in re-taking their Oath of Enlistment in front of a crowd at Citi Field for the annual New York Mets Military Appreciation Game.

Finn will begin training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on July 18; Higginson will begin on Nov. 1.   

The commitment means time apart, but Finn said that won’t be an issue for the pair.

“We both understand that circumstances that we’re going into,” he said. “We’ll make it work.”

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