☷Fort Hood honors graduates in post wide ceremony
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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Graduates throw their caps in the air in celebration for achieving their education goals during a post - wide graduation ceremony in Howze Auditorium at Fort Hood , Texas , April 26 . In all , 32 graduates from 13 colleges were honored in three ceremonies April 25 - 26 . FORT HOOD , Texas - Thirty - two graduates from 13 colleges were honored across three post - wide graduation ceremonies at Howze Auditorium here , April 25 - 26 . “The graduates here today set a goal and took a first step , then another , and another , until they reached their goal to complete their academic program for which we are celebrating today , ” said Sheri’ Buono , education services officer at the Fort Hood Soldier Development Center . “Many have already graduated and received their diplomas from their institution , while others are just a few courses shy of completion for that final paper , that final grade , that final sigh of relief . ” Col . Chad R . Foster , commander of U . S . Army Garrison – Fort Hood , applauded the graduates for the countless , weeks , months and even years it took to complete this process , despite the long hours and sleepless nights . He said they are a positive example for others to emulate as they wonder if they have what it takes to complete their degree . The colonel told the graduates that they now have the obligation to go out and use their new knowledge , gained through their degrees , to better their families , their organizations and themselves . Sharing a quote from German philosopher Immanuel Kant , Foster said , “‘Experience without theory is blind , but theory without experience is mere intellectual play . ’ What Kant was describing was the necessary balance that must exist between what you learn from books and what you learn from life . ” A graduate from each of the three graduations was selected to be the student - speaker for their class . All three student - speakers shared their personal journey into higher education . Staff Sgt . Hanna Weilbacher , who received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice , thanked her family and friends , especially her mother , for supporting and encouraging her , and never doubting in her abilities . She challenged the graduates awardees to think of other goals they want to achieve . “If this is the end of your education , find a new challenge and continue to fight for your goals , ” she said . Tanya Balderrama shared her story going through high school with perfect grades and having no idea what she wanted to do when she “grew up . ” So she decided to enlist in the Army . Today , she’s lists a host of degrees , including an associates in medical assisting , a bachelor’s in psychology , a master’s in counseling , and an executive certificate in higher education administration , leading up to her pursuit of a doctorate’s degree in higher education and administration . “It is possible to achieve your goals on the Army’s dime , as I am a living testimony , ” she said . Retired Sgt . 1st Class Joel Carter shared his journey as an immigrant from Liberia , West Africa , who joined the Army at the age of 34 . He has since obtained a bachelor’s and master’s in theology , a bachelor’s in emergency management and disaster operations and now a master of arts in emergency and disaster management . “I only volunteered to share my story for the sheer purpose of inspiration and proof that hard work and determination will pay off , ” Carter said . “The journey was difficult , that’s why only you can tell the journey or story . ” Of the 32 graduates , one individual received an executive certificate , two received associate degrees , 12 received their bachelor’s and 17 received their master’s . After crossing the stage and receiving a certificate on behalf of the Fort Hood Soldier Development Center , the graduates were asked to stand and face the audience . Thunderous applause sounded as the graduates moved their tassels from the right to the left side of their caps , signaling the end of the graduation ceremony and the beginning of their next journey . “Don’t ever doubt in yourself for what you have accomplished , ” Foster said , “and most importantly , don’t ever doubt yourself for what you’re going to accomplish . ”
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