Lynn Reid was one among the more than 200 graduates who received recognition during the annual Fort Bragg 2017 College Graduation and Recognition Ceremony, Nov. 14, held in a standing-room only crowd at the Iron Mike Conference Center.
A veteran herself and the widow of a retired sergeant major, Reid said her husband, Larry, always encouraged her to go to school and was the reason she decided to march.
“I’m just very happy. I know that he would be proud,” said Reid, who earned her Educational Specialist Degree online from Liberty University, Virginia. “I wasn’t going to march, but I wanted to do this for him because I know he’d make a big deal about it.”
The graduation ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of college, university and online graduates and gives them a chance to walk across the stage at IMCC.
It was held as the Bragg Training and Education Center’s kickoff of American Education Week, Nov. 13 to Friday. The week honors the importance of education.
Some other BTEC-sponsored activities that took place during American Education Week included a reception for graduates immediately following the graduation ceremony. BTEC held an Open House, all-day testing for college credit and assessment of Department of Defense foreign language aptitude, a GI Bill briefing, as well as an informational briefing from a coordinator of the North Carolina Troops to Teacher program, designated to help service members transition from the military to the classroom.
Reid, who said she has secured a teaching job at Bowley Elementary School, hopes to continue her studies by earning her doctorate. Her daughter, Larissa Tyree and granddaughter, Leilani Tyree-Turner, 5, attended the ceremony and took photos with Reid afterwards.
“I’m proud of her. It’s very inspiring to me and my daughter. She always pushes education and she’s definitely leading by example,” Tyree said. “It’s definitely been some long nights and some early mornings with her studies, but she’s doing it — she’s showing me that it’s possible.”
Master Sgt. Lenin Areas, a Soldier assigned to the 50th Signal Battalion, was recognized for earning an Associate of Arts Degree in general studies online from Central Texas College.
The degree, he said, “(Is) the stepping stone or the foundation for me to start into my bachelor’s.”
Sgt. 1st Class Sonton Lunnermon agreed.
“It’s the building block for professional and personal, continued growth,” said Lunnermon, who attended the ceremony to support Areas, whom he met while both serving in the 82nd Sustainment Brigade. Lunnermon still serves in the brigade.
According to Chris
Pittman, Education Services officer, the ceremony is a celebration of the academic accomplishments of graduates, some of whom achieve their goals in spite of deployments and multiple moves throughout their career.
“It gives them a chance for Family, coworkers, leaders to help celebrate,” said Pittman.
Because the military has been a traditional leader in supporting literacy and education, then the graduation ceremony and the BTEC program helps to continue that tradition, explained Terry Long, Education Services specialist.
This shows the “Pentagon support for education,” Long said.