Nov. 21 was graduation day on Fort Hood.
Fort Hood Education Services Division hosted its 23rd Post-Wide Graduation Ceremony where 132 graduates from 33 different colleges and universities walked across the stage to be recognized for their achievements at Howze Auditorium on the Great Place.
The ceremony is held once a year on the installation to honor those who were unable to make it to their institution’s graduation ceremonies and have accomplished furthering their education.
“It’s just to recognize all of the academic accomplishments for all the folks who might not otherwise have the opportunity because they’re in a different location, because maybe they were deployed when their graduation happened,” said Peggy Stamper, education specialist, Fort Hood Education Services. “So, it’s just to give the citizens of our community the opportunity to celebrate those successes and hopefully do it in front of friends, family and leaders.”
Spc. Charlie Marrero, an information technology specialist with the 377th Military Intelligence Battalion, Army Reserve, and a Department of the Army civilian III Corps Service Desk technician, who graduated from American Military University with a Master of Science degree in information technology said the event was a great way for his family colleagues and friends to witness his accomplishment. He also said he is now at ease since finishing his studies and hopes to be an inspiration for his kids.
“I’m really happy and proud to be amongst everyone else that’s made the same, if not, even greater sacrifices that I have,” Marrero said. “My main goal has been, and always will be, to best role model I can for my kids – to be the best father I can.”
Stamper said those participating in the graduation ceremony were ecstatic to be there for what they have done, but while they were bettering themselves for the future, time was spent on studies for the graduates and others had to step in to assist with their usual daily activities.
“It’s nothing but joyous and it really demonstrates to others that it’s doable,” said Stamper. “It’s a hard thing to do to go to school these days, especially when you’re a working adult and even more so when you’re a Soldier. So, to do that and accomplish this, it’s just a fabulous feeling for everybody involved.”