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Military Graduates 2024

Celebrating Our Military Graduates

We are incredibly proud to honor the achievements of Liberty University’s 2023-2024 military graduates and graduating military spouses! We’ve been collecting stories about their journeys to graduation to celebrate this milestone in their lives. We are amazed at each graduate’s tenacious and ferocious will to never give up which is exemplified in the testimonies of these graduates. May their words inspire you to keep working toward the goal in your pursuit of a degree! There are thousands of untold stories represented in each class of graduating Liberty students – stories of hard work, determination, and sacrifice, and the class of 2024 is no exception. We wanted to give voice to a few of their stories to honor the accomplishments of all our graduating military students and encourage those still working toward graduation.

Tamika Valentine

U.S. Army SGM

Master of Business Administration: Supply Chain Management

“There will be long days, there will be long nights, and there will be competing requirements, but as long as you keep going, you WILL reach the end, and graduation will be within your grasp. When you finally receive your diploma, you’ll realize that every challenge was worth it!”

Being active-duty Army and a mom to a newborn and teenager, my journey to graduation differed from the norm. The typical completion timeline didn’t align with my work-life balance, and the COVID-19 pandemic added to the challenges. Despite these hurdles, my journey became a testament to resilience and determination.
There were days filled with challenges, moments of doubt, and obstacles to overcome, but I remained steadfast in my faith and commitment to succeed. As graduation approached, I reflected on the transformation I underwent, both academically and personally, and felt a profound sense of accomplishment and pride. I found that I could directly relate real-life situations to what I learned in the classroom, which gave me confidence in my studies and the knowledge I gained.
All the hard work, late nights, and sacrifices have paid off. My journey to graduation not only equipped me with knowledge and skills, but instilled in me the belief that with dedication and perseverance, any goal is attainable. To God be the Glory!

Carlos Lopez-Corsino

U.S. Army Reserve

Master of Arts in Public Health

Follow the class objectives, actively participate in discussions with your classmates, and clarify doubts with your professors.

From “F” to “A,” with honors — My journey began in the late ’90s, during a confusing time in my life. As a divorcee without family support, I deeply regretted my past decisions and found myself in a dark period. In addition to seeking support from my church, I felt something was missing on the educational front. Although I had earned a medical degree, my inability to complete the licensing process limited my job prospects, leading to despair and a loss of professional ambition.
That’s when I decided to explore other educational options. Among the places I considered was Liberty University. I contacted an advisor and thought that studying theology might help me find a path back to normalcy, so I registered for Theology 610. However, I was still battling personal dissatisfaction and lingering anger, which led me to neglect withdrawing from the course, leaving it pending in my records.
As time passed, I revisited my application to Liberty and, to my surprise, was permitted to start my master’s in public health. However, I faced another hurdle: my GPA stood at 0.00 due to the theology class I abandoned. I contacted Liberty to clarify the situation and was informed about the course. To advance, I had to appeal to the dean and the committee to allow me to repeat the class and be placed on educational probation.
I embarked on my Master of Public Health, and I am thrilled to share that I am now finishing my education as an honor student at Liberty. This journey might seem improbable, but with the Lord’s help, I’ve managed to persevere through all challenges. I’ve worked hard in a demanding environment, balancing a spiritually and mentally taxing job with my school assignments. Throughout, I sought only Yeshua’s guidance. I share my story to motivate anyone facing a life crisis to pray, seek direction, and pursue their desires and passions with all their strength.
“For I know what plans I have in mind for you,” says Adonai, “plans for well-being, not for bad things, so that you can have hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (CJB). Many blessings.


Shannon Page

U.S. Army Veteran

Bachelor of Fine Arts: Graphic Design

Keep up the good work. Don’t ever give up. Always keep the end goal in mind.

I was injured while in the service and discharged because of the injuries, so I had to figure out what was next. With a lot of prayer and support from my family, I chose to pursue an arts degree from Liberty and study something I love. Graphic design is a field that works for me due to the creative and physical work aspects of it. I started my degree as a non-traditional student in my late 40’s and I hit the ground running. I have enjoyed the studies and the faculty and staff at Liberty for their help and support during my journey. Before I knew it, graduation was right around the corner, and I have been accepted into the Master of Arts: Visual Communication Design program.

Shauna Brucker

U.S. Air Force SMSgt (Ret.)

Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling

Your perseverance and grit to do what needs to be accomplished will carry you through. Don’t give up!

After I retired from the Air Force, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. My background was medical, but I was drawn to seek a greater purpose by helping others. After some counseling sessions with my pastor, I began to feel a pull in that direction. After much fasting and prayer, I began looking into different Christian universities, and Liberty was at the top. They had such a broad array of degree programs, and were extremely military-friendly to my VA education benefits. My two-year program was rewarding, and I found my classes and professors quite enriching. I appreciated that the curriculum was relevant for today, enjoyable to read and I gained the knowledge needed. I highly recommend LU to active duty or retired personnel. I’m looking forward to my campus visit in May for graduation and to attend the Military Graduate Recognition Ceremony. God blesses!

Naangela O’Neal

U.S. Army (Ret.)

Doctor of Educational Leadership

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24).

My name is Dr. NaAngela O’Neal. I have prayed for this day to share my journey. My goal at Liberty University was to earn my doctoral degree to help elevate my passion for leadership. As a Christian, I trusted LU to engage me in a faith-based practice. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24).

Beth White

U.S. Air Force Spouse (Vietnam Vet, Passed 1/12/24)

Doctor of Education

The road to graduation will be hard and there will be days that you want to quit. Stay focused on the end goal, complete the race, and press on to the finish line. In the end, it won’t seem like it was difficult at all.

When I first met my husband (USAF – Vietnam), a college education was never going to be a reality due to the cost. When I started working at Liberty University, the Continuing Education program made it possible. From the beginning of my undergrad in August 2003, my husband Wayne prayed, encouraged, and helped me in every way possible. If I needed to go somewhere to study and enjoy a refreshment, he was right there with me regardless of how long the time was. For 20 years, he made it possible for me to earn five degrees, and a Graduate Certificate from two universities. I finally defended my dissertation on my birthday this past November and I will never forget how proud he was of me. I had just received my Ed.D. in the mail about two weeks before his sudden passing on January 12, 2024. I am walking this weekend because he wanted to celebrate me for all my hard work over the past 20 years.


Jessica Bradshaw

Sgt in the U.S. Army National Guard

Doctor of Education

Keep persevering! Use the skills you have learned in the military to continue driving towards your goals.

During my master’s, I deployed to the Middle East. During my doctorate, I was on multiple activations to protect my state’s capitol and to the Texas border to assist with the immigration crisis. Despite the ridiculous hours, poor housing, military demands, and being in a position of leadership, I kept pushing forward on my doctorate. Like when we are running, we sometimes have to slow down to the airborne shuffle, but we are still moving. I don’t know exactly how I was able to submit assignments at times or find the time to read and write, but I made it happen. And God has blessed me with reaching the end of this marathon.

Kenneth Williams

U.S. Army National Guard

Master of Education

By working on your degree, you are that much closer to life after your service. Aim for a profession that makes you happy and one that gives you joy each day.
Wow, where do I begin? This journey has been a long but rewarding one. After earning my Bachelor’s in 2019 I knew that within 5 years or so I’d be leaving active service and would need something to jump-start my next career. After talking to a student advisor with LU, I decided that school counseling was my next chapter. I was excited and eager from 2019-2023. I’m now looking to retire in June of 2024 and God has me in a school today. I had to navigate senior leadership that did not want to support so many hours of internship and being moved out of a leadership position I loved because of this pursuit. I have a family that still requires my love and attention. I was on the road for 3 hours a day to the base location from my home of record. I was a Young Adult leader in my church and that still required planning and preparation of events. Through it all, God’s purpose for my life drove me to push through it. I’m still standing in the name of Jesus, and I’m where I am meant to be.

“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 NIV‬‬

Antonio Smith

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.)

Military Operations – Supply Chain Logistics & Geography

Seek God’s guidance early each day and hold on to his hope!

I heard about Liberty University from some friends in El Paso, Texas and I began researching. The biblical worldview that Liberty has, has helped me understand the reasons for me to attend this institution.

Jammae Trigg

U.S. Army Veteran

Master of Science in Healthcare Administration – Supply Chain Management and Logistics

Your achievement isn’t just about receiving a degree, it’s a testament to your resilience, determination, and the strength of your spirit.

Embarking on the journey towards completing a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (with a specialization in Supply Chain Management and Logistics) was a transformative experience filled with challenges, triumphs, and personal growth. The initial decision to pursue this degree was fueled by a passion for healthcare and a desire to optimize supply chains. Every step of the journey has been marked by dedication and perseverance. Immersing oneself in firsthand experiences, conducting research on pertinent industry issues, and building a network of supportive relationships with peers and professionals were integral components of my journey. Despite facing challenges, resilience prevails, and it enables the individual to overcome obstacles and emerge stronger. Completing capstone projects that demonstrate a mastery of healthcare administration and supply chain management principles serves as a testament to the years of hard work. As my journey concludes, I stand ready to embark on a fulfilling career, armed with knowledge and a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of healthcare delivery and supply chains. This journey is not merely about earning a degree but represents a personal and professional transformation, and I am poised to make a meaningful impact in the world of healthcare administration and logistics.

Adam Lewis

U.S. Army

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The struggles we face have a significant purpose: “We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5.
I graduated from Abilene Christan University in Dec. 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I entered into the Army in Nov. 2008 as a 68X, Behavioral Health Specialist. I graduated from Grand Canyon University in Sep. 2016 with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis on Law Enforcement. I was then medically retired in Mar. 2021. I worked in the federal prison system as a correctional officer from June 2021 to Aug. 2022. I attended Liberty University as a full-time student in Aug. 2022 and completed my degree with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Ayla Litsenberger

U.S. Army SFC (Ret.)

Master of Divinity: Christian Apologetics

Keep God first and rest will be added to you. When God is first, the rest of life falls into place. Be steadfast in faith and God will strengthen you along the way.
While working towards this degree, I experienced the loss of a family member for the first time (to stage 4 colon cancer), acted as my father’s caregiver as he progressed through Alzheimer’s, and went through the season of Covid. All while serving in the active duty (reserves) and being a married Mom of three. I praise Christ for the strength he has given me for each assignment, for blessing me with a supportive and encouraging husband who helped me take care of my dad and covered for me at home when assignments required more of my time, and for blessing me with a unit who gave me the grace to meet the needs of my father and see my cousin Emmy on short notice before she passed away. I couldn’t be more thankful for the Christ-like professors who granted me extensions on some of my paper submissions and prayed for me during the hardest of times. This has been quite the journey, but I am excited to see where God takes me next. Anything I have ever accomplished is due to God’s grace, his love, and his favor. To God be the glory!

Martin Hubner

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

Doctor of Business Administration

This is only a chapter in a story about you. Let this chapter help set the stage for the rest of your story.

I began my journey as an MBA student in 2016. 8 years later, I am receiving my DBA. This has opened more doors than I could have ever imagined and without my Lord and my family by my side through thick and thin, I am unsure how I’d be able to do it all. Colossians 3:17

Katrina Chamberlain

Marine Corps Spouse

Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology

With God, all things are possible.
My journey has been one filled with joy, stress, and much sacrifice, leading me to trust God even more. There was a lot of indecisiveness about whether I was willing to take the necessary steps to obtain my goals. The Lord opened doors and opportunities for me to take a leap of faith and follow my dreams. The Lord removed all obstacles that I previously allowed to hinder my decision to move forward with school. I began the process of choosing a school that catered to my wants and my needs. This was a tedious task for me. I can remember telling myself there is no way you can attend school right now. Your work schedule is too demanding, school is expensive, the classes will be too hard, and I am too old to return to school. These statements would play over in my head when the classes were demanding, but I was reminded of the scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13, NKJV). Therefore, I resigned from my job and attended school as a full-time student. My journey here may have been delayed but it certainly has not been denied. Today, I stand as a college graduate. I give all glory to God.

Jeremy Goen

U.S. Air Force TSgt (Ret.)

Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies: Religion and Education

Integrity first, service before self, excellence in all you do.

I completed my degree in 2008 while serving. I was unable to attend commencement at that time. Since then, I’ve completed two master’s degrees and my Doctor of Ministry. Today we are here because my wife completed her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and we wanted to walk together. Her support during my AF and college career has been wonderful. Now we get to celebrate her!

Jamie Littlefield

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Psychology

One of the regrets I have today regarding starting my education is not starting sooner. Somewhere deep down I felt as if I would fail, but discovered the work ethic, attention to detail, and discipline the military instills in us more than prepares us for college. If you continue the mission in your educational endeavors, you will be successful.

My name is Jamie Littlefield, and I was born and raised in Dothan, AL. After graduating high school in 2002, I enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served as a Military Policeman on active duty for 8 years. Locations served included: Cherry Point, NC, Albany, GA, Camp Pendleton, CA, and Al Taqqadum Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After being honorably discharged, I served as a Police Officer in Albany, GA for 13 years as a Field Training Officer, Traffic Accident Investigator, Watch Commander, and Special Reaction Team Commander, before becoming a Deputy US Marshal in the Western District of Tennessee 5 years ago. Joining the Marines was the second-best decision of my life, next to being saved at age 32. The guidance from the US Marines was a compass toward finding God’s calling for my life. I live daily in pursuit of that path. I completed an associate degree in criminal justice in 2012 and decided to complete my bachelor’s in criminal justice at the age of 38. The knowledge I have acquired from Liberty has truly been used by God to give me a biblical Christian worldview to live my life from. I see God’s work in every area of my life and am constantly searching for the next endeavor to be a warrior for Christ.

Juan Remy

LTC in the U.S. Army

Doctorate in Educational Leadership

Perseverance and planning will get you to the final line. Practice resiliency to overcome obstacles.

While teaching at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, NY, my interest grew in the field of education. I fell in love with educating and training minds. I applied for my doctorate during a deployment. I faced many obstacles while completing the program, but my teachers and family kept me grounded and focused. I had complete joy while achieving this milestone. After I retire from the military I want to fully commit to teaching and become an educational leader.

Andrew Beasley

U.S. Army Veteran

Doctorate in Criminal Justice – Leadership

Stay the course and always look to the Lord throughout your struggles. Remember James 1:12!

After being discharged from service in 2004, I didn’t know about my VA education benefits until 2015, after attending LU for a year. Through this great benefit afforded to military members, I was able to complete my bachelor’s, master’s, and part of my Ph.D. Liberty University has been great to work with through the entire process. The workload was a lot, especially with my LE career and family; however, through the support of my wife Michelle and our two kids, Allison, and Drew, I MADE IT!

Perry West

U.S. Army CSM (Ret.)

Doctor of Education: Curriculum and Instruction

You are more courageous than you know, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

I entered the Army in July 1983 and retired in July 2007. During my service, I was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Parachutist Badge, the Drivers Badge, the Recruiter Badge, the Career Counselor Badge, the Order of Samuel Sharpe Award, the Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), and multiple commendations, achievements, and service medals. I’m a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s in special education. I hold a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University and am now receiving a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. After graduation, I hope to become a School District Curriculum Director or an adjunct professor.

Kathleen Alejandro

U.S. Air Force Captain

Master of Science in Nursing Education

Your pace is irrelevant; the mission is to finish! You can do all things through Christ!

The military has a funny way of helping you find new callings in life, and interacting with younger nurses and medics helped me discover a calling to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing Education! Working between multiple breaks for deployments, TDYs, PCS, and the demands of full-time nursing career, the work felt endless! After 3 long years, I can finally celebrate this blessing beside all of you!

David Hutchinson

U.S. Army National Guard Major

Doctor of Strategic Leadership

This is not the end, and it’s not the beginning of the end. However, it is undeniably the end of the beginning.

My journey toward graduation began with the clear goal of enhancing my leadership skills and knowledge. As a Field Grade Officer with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, I balanced my military responsibilities with rigorous online coursework, and leveraged the program’s flexibility to manage both commitments effectively. The curriculum included courses like Leadership Theory, Risk Management, and Leading Effective Teams, and provided me with practical insights applicable to both the military and business.

I integrated biblical servant leadership principles into my learning throughout my studies, aligning with Liberty’s mission to Train Champions for Christ. The support from faculty and access to extensive online resources through the library portal enriched my academic experience. By applying theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges in business management and organizational change, I honed my skills as a leader. Upon completing the program in 2024, I emerged equipped with the expertise to excel as a military leader, company executive, or management consultant while contributing meaningfully to the military and civilian sectors.

Edith Walton-Carter

U.S. Army Spouse

Doctor of Education: Community Care Counseling – Traumatology

The road gets a little hard sometimes as we face the many challenges of life while pursuing a degree. Remember, “This too shall pass.” God is omnipresent and he has a blessing with your name on it.

To God be the glory for he is worthy of praise! In 1992, I decided I wanted a college degree. I began at Southside Community College in Keysville, VA, where I received an associate’s in human services. Then, I wanted my bachelor’s degree and chose Liberty because it was online and convenient. I graduated in 2008. Then with the help of military benefits from my late husband Charles E. Carter, Sr. (a Vietnam Veteran), and The Brown v Board of Education Scholarship, I obtained a master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (2009) and a master’s in Professional Counseling (2013). Lastly, I now have my ED.D. in Community Care and Counseling: Traumatology. I had great support from my family, and above all, God’s grace.

Lorenzo Sanchez

U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant

Doctor of Business Administration – Supply Chain Management and Logistics

Finish what you start.

After much prayer and many conversations with God, I applied to the DBA program and was admitted in June of 2020. While I had doubts due to my full-time commitments in the Air Force, I was placed on a path where I had amazing mentors and peers who enabled and supported me to complete what I began three years ago. Furthermore, LU was very helpful and accommodating of my military duties, which allowed me to succeed in all of my classes. During these three years, I learned that with discipline and consistent prayer, anything is achievable as long as you put your mind to it. A month into my Applied Doctoral Research Project, I was facing many unknowns and felt like I was on my own. During that time, I virtually made a peer who was in the same course and process as the ADRP, and we quickly formed a friendship and kept each other accountable for completing our tasks and finishing our program. This allowed us to complete our DBA ten months ahead of schedule. All glory to God for his calling to me!

Tracey Robbins

U.S. Army Spous

Education Specialist: Curriculum and Instruction

Enjoy your educational journey!

I became an Army wife during my freshman year of college right before my husband was commissioned for what was a more than 20-year career. I attended schools wherever Army life took us to finish my undergraduate degree. We lived overseas when I completed my master’s. I came to the doctoral program within the School of Education at Liberty as a transfer student in 2023. We are Liberty parents, I am a Liberty wife, and now as an alumni myself, I am looking forward to graduating with my EdS in Curriculum and Instruction in May. I am grateful for the encouraging faculty and staff, the military benefits extended to spouses, and the opportunity to complete coursework online. Most important to me was Liberty’s emphasis on being a Christ-centered institute of higher learning. I’m very proud to be a Liberty graduate and look forward to what God has in store for me as an alum.


Josiah Rice

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Psychology: Christian Counseling

Education and learning are a gift. Learning to thank God for the opportunity to learn and grow will transform your attitude toward the adversity you face in the journey you’re on.

Growing up in a small town in New York, I never thought I’d have the chance to pursue my dream of becoming a counselor. Despite my passion for helping others, college seemed out of reach. Fueled by my desire to make a difference, I enlisted in the Air Force as a firefighter. Slowly but surely, I began to see my dream materialize as I charted a path with the military and Liberty to pursue my dream. With my bachelor’s degree in hand, I’m now well into my master’s program, and am getting closer to my goal of working as a counselor. My journey is another example of never giving up on the unique purpose God has planted deep within each of us. Where there is passion within a person, there is a powerful God working on their behalf. Psalms 57:2

Daniel Imoesiri

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen

Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology

The Lord will never put on you more than you can bear. His love, mercy, and grace for you are everlasting gifts!

I am the second American-born child of a Benin Edo-Nigerian prince. My educational journey began 18 years ago after graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, a phase nearly derailed by the loss of both parents when I was thirteen. Despite these hardships, I graduated as an emancipated minor at 18, fueled by my faith.

I started college in California, then transferred to Whitworth University on a scholarship but dropped out as I was about to become a father. The next years brought both joy and tragedy, including the loss of a child to SIDS and a spiraling depression. My turning point came from an unexpected email from Liberty University, offering a chance to re-enroll without transcripts. This opportunity reignited my passion for education, and I returned to school in 2018.

Despite initial setbacks at Liberty, including academic probation, spiritual encouragement motivated me to persevere. I rejoined my studies in 2021, had a successful year, and briefly joined the US Navy before completing my degree. Now, I’m pursuing a master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis at Purdue University, set to graduate next year. I’ve remarried, supported my three children, and passed my state exam to reopen my previously unsuccessful business in California.

This journey taught me the power of perseverance and faith, serving as a reminder of who we serve and why, through all life’s challenges.

Desiree Franklin

U.S. Army Captain

Master of Arts in Medical Sciences

Continue striving to be the best you can be. Know that with God, EVERYTHING is possible!

My journey to graduation has been a testament to perseverance, woven with challenges and triumphs that shaped my path. Ten years ago, I embarked on this academic endeavor, not foreseeing the obstacles that lay ahead.

During this journey, I have balanced the rigorous demands of being an active-duty Army instructor with my academic pursuits, completing my degree in just one year. This period was marked not only by personal determination but also by familial resilience. My family faced numerous health scares, each one testing our strength and resolve.

Yet, here I stand, a testament to the unwavering support of my loved ones and the indomitable spirit that the Army has instilled in me. This achievement is not mine alone but belongs to every hand that held me steady and every voice that urged me on.

To my fellow graduates, let this accomplishment be a beacon. May it remind you that with passion and perseverance, no obstacle is too formidable, and no timeline too stretched. We are more than the sum of our challenges; we are the triumphs that emerge from them.

As I close this chapter, I am grateful for the lessons learned and the bonds forged. My journey to graduation has not been a solitary trek but a collective voyage with each of you contributing to my story.

Thomas Covington

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant

Doctorate of Education: Community Care and Counseling

Between the chaos of combat and the rigors of military life, my journey involved completing a doctoral degree amidst adversity. Balancing the life of a soldier with the rigorous academic requirements of a doctoral program was challenging. Through multiple combat tours, I faced the conditions of war, where the stakes are life and death. The intense environment of conflict zones, coupled with the responsibility of leading and protecting fellow soldiers added layers of difficulty to an already challenging pursuit.

Determination and discipline were invaluable assets in the academic arena. These traits, along with support from my mentors, family, and the military community enabled me to navigate both worlds successfully. The research and dissertation process is a solitary and introspective journey and it was influenced by my experiences in combat, and provided me with a distinct perspective to bring to my academics.

Transitioning out of the Army was a period of adjustment, moving from the structured life of the military to the autonomy of civilian life. Yet the skills and discipline acquired through the service and my academic endeavors equipped me well for this new chapter. Completing my degree signifies a personal achievement and serves as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of those who serve. I hope my story serves as a reminder of the potential to achieve greatness against the odds.

Cory Branham

U.S. Air Force TSgt

Doctor of Ministry

You can do this!

Taking one class at a time with sporadic breaks, it took me just under 15 years to finish this degree. If I can do it, you can do it. Be consistent,  dedicated, and do something amazing!

Joshua Cicalo

U.S. Army SFC

Master of Arts in Military Operations

Stay the course! Liberty has an amazing staff who understand the unique difficulties and challenges of military life and work hard to accommodate and assist us in degree completion. Trust that God is in control and has you exactly where he wants you.

I’ve been unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to spend these last two years learning and growing as a man, soldier, leader, husband, and father. I’m incredibly thankful for those who helped me through this process, including my ROTC teammates, cadre, professors, my two boys, and my wife Whitney. The transition from nearly a decade of active-duty service to being a full-time student again was significant, incredibly humbling, and frustrating at times. But I knew that this was exactly where and when God wanted me to be, and I’m thankful to have been here, and excited for what He has for me next. Colossians 3:23

Cassie Angel

Military Spouse

Bachelor of Science in Psychology: Crisis Counseling

Keep working on your degree on the days when you are struggling to find motivation. You will be so happy that you kept working when you receive your degree.

I started my college journey at Oklahoma State University pursuing a psychology degree, but I didn’t feel like it was the right fit for me. I wanted a more focused psychology program that incorporated faith and had a more flexible schedule. As a military spouse, I desperately needed schedule flexibility so I could spend more time with my husband and work around his busy schedule. Liberty University Online was the perfect fit. While working on my degree, I went through two major moves, worked a full-time job, and spent quality time with my husband without ever feeling stressed or behind in my classes. I highly recommend Liberty to all military members and military spouses.

Deterrica Johnson

U.S. Army SGT

Master of Public Administration: Healthcare

Always remember to use your time wisely and trust that God has your best interest.

My journey to graduation was an emotional roller coaster. I felt like I didn’t have enough time or energy to complete the degree due to work, school, and home life. I learned my own way, by putting others needs above my own. I used my time wisely and prayed to God and said, “Everything that’s not of you, remove it from my life”. I lost friends, family, and a job, but I had more time to focus on my degree. I am better! Thank God I’m finally here.

Austin Hudson

U.S. Army Sergeant

Bachelor of Science in Fire Services Administration

Stay the course. It gets easier as it goes.

I began taking classes while on a law enforcement rotation in Germany. I found on that rotation I would be PCSing to Germany, and realized it was going to be tough to work a new position while changing duty stations. Since then, I have started a new position as a Protection Agent in CID. Doing that job while working in places that did not have reliable service and internet was tough, but God gave me the strength to get through those missions and to complete those classes on time.

Brandon Angleton

U.S. Air Force Captain

Master of Science in Project Management

The military offers benefits to pursue education, congrats on taking advantage of it and getting ready for life outside of the military. One assignment at a time and remember time goes by faster than we feel at any given moment.

I joined 5 years ago straight out of college, and it has been a goal of mine since high school to earn a graduate degree. My first assignment was busy and very overwhelming, leading over 100 people when a year ago I was only responsible for showing up to 5 classes. I was told you only get busier, and started my first class before moving to my second assignment. It finished right before moving to my third assignment and it was as true, I kept getting busier! I became a believer right before my first class and not only have grown professionally and educationally through my program, but it has been essential to my spiritual growth. Pursue Christ and be ready for life to come because it will be full!

Kim Wint

Army Spouse

Master of Divinity – Evangelism and Church Planting

Don’t give up!

Please tell us about your journey:

It was a struggle to press on and pursue my degree. I never thought I would have made it. I am 66 years old and thought I needed to be smarter to receive a doctoral degree. I did it, and all the Glory goes to God for guiding me through trials and tribulations. I finished with a GPA of 3.73

Claudia Burregi

Coast Guard Veteran

Doctorate in Higher Education Administration – Educational Leadership

To my fellow service members embarking on the noble quest of furthering your education while serving our country, let me share a word of encouragement rooted in faith: Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This journey you are on, balancing the demands of military service with the rigors of academic pursuit, is a path few choose to walk. It is not merely a test of your willpower but a testament to your faith in God’s plan for your life.

I began my doctoral journey just before COVID-19 changed everyone’s lives. I was teaching high school sciences on the only inhabited island in Louisiana, and I knew that although there were many challenges at that time, God had a plan. Never would I imagine that in 2022, when I was nearing the end of my dissertation journey, I would be diagnosed with cancer. What an inopportune time to go through something such as this. But I began by giving this degree to God, and I knew I would push through because I was so close to obtaining IRB approval. I had a double mastectomy days after getting my approval to begin my research. Though recovery and two surgeries later slowed me down, I was able to pull it all together and gave my final defense in May of 2023. “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). By the strength of God, I made it and I give him all the glory.

Heather Thomas

Marine Corps Spouse

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

I am a Marine spouse. I have PCS’d all over during my husband’s career while raising four amazing children. When my kids were school aged, I decided it was time for me to do something for myself so I went back to school. It has been very challenging managing a household, work, and schooling. But also, so rewarding. I am blessed and thankful. Thank you to my kids and to my amazing husband and beautiful mom for helping me along the way.

Shean Cain

U.S. Navy

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Military Resilience

To our esteemed military students pursuing degrees while serving, I offer heartfelt encouragement. Your commitment to duty and education is a testament to your resolve. Despite the demands of your responsibilities, your dedication fuels your academic progress. Each lecture and assignment completed showcases your resilience. You embody the values of discipline and perseverance learned through military training, enhancing your ability to serve our nation excellently.

As you balance military duties with your studies, remember that your efforts are recognized and admired. Your pursuit of knowledge not only betters your personal growth but also strengthens our armed forces. Stay steadfast, use your education as a beacon for a brighter future, and draw strength from your peers and support network. Your resilience will lead to success in both military and academic endeavors.

My journey to graduation while in the military has been a profound odyssey of self-discovery, resilience, and growth. From the moment I enlisted, I embraced the Navy’s ethos of honor, courage, and commitment, driven by a deep sense of duty to my country. Throughout my service, I faced numerous challenges, each one testing my resilience and fortitude.

Despite the demands of military life and the rigors of academia, I persevered, driven by a relentless determination to expand my knowledge and skills. Balancing deployments, long hours, and uncertainties, I remained dedicated to my educational goals, refusing to succumb to adversity.

This journey taught me the value of education as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Every lesson and obstacle encountered enriched my understanding and strengthened my resolve to make a meaningful impact.

As I approach graduation, I reflect on this transformative experience. It has equipped me with essential skills and a profound sense of purpose. I am deeply grateful for the support of my comrades, mentors, and loved ones who supported me every step of the way. As I move forward, I am committed to serving my country with honor and distinction.

Christopher Metzer


Bachelor of Science in Aviation

It can be challenging at times with many long nights, but realize that by trusting in God, anything is possible. You will Graduate!

My journey to graduation was filled with challenges, but having an amazing wife by my side cheering me on every step of the way made all the difference. Her unwavering support and encouragement were a guiding light during the darkest moments of doubt and uncertainty.

There were times when I felt like giving up when the weight of deadlines and responsibilities seemed too heavy to bear. But my wife was always there, reminding me of my strength and potential, pushing me to keep going even when I wanted to quit. Her belief in me never wavered, even when my faith faltered (or maybe I should say when my VA funding bit the dust).

Together, we weathered the storms and celebrated the victories, big and small. From late nights studying together to early mornings preparing for exams, we tackled each challenge as a team. Her love and dedication fueled my determination, propelling me forward when my motivation waned.

Now as I stand on the brink of graduation, I know that her support was the foundation upon which my success was built. I am forever grateful for her presence in my life, for being my rock and my biggest cheerleader. Without her, I would not have made it to this point, ready to embark on the next chapter of my journey with confidence and pride.

Mary Crowell

U.S. Navy Veteran

Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration

Stay strong and focused, knowing that your dedication and resilience are an inspiration to us all.

I started at Liberty University in 2019, shortly after joining the United States Navy as a registered nurse. I aimed to obtain a graduate education from an institution that aligned well with my values and career goals. Liberty was able to offer that and so much more. The tuition rate they offer students is the reason I was able to graduate with zero student loan debt, which is a blessing in itself. More than that, the support that Liberty provided during my military career (that included deployments) showed me that this school truly cares about its military students and families. Even though my program was primarily distance-based, Liberty made me feel like I had a family in Lynchburg, Virginia. By the end of Fall 2023, I completed a dual Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration. I could not be more grateful to Liberty for providing not only an excellent graduate education but for instilling in me values that will guide me throughout my personal and professional life. Thank you for supporting our military students and their families, and ensuring they receive the best education and resources in a way that I have seen no other institution provide.

Corey Brooks

U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army Veteran

Doctor of Education

Jeremiah 29: 11, was a passage from scripture that I continually fell back on. It reminds us that God is ever-present in our lives and is there to encourage us to move forward in him.

The doctoral program at Liberty is tough. There were times when I wanted to quit. Being on deployment to Afghanistan and still having to work on requirements for my degree seemed impossible. I remember committing to stay up all night from Saturday to Sunday and sleeping in for half of the day on Sunday so I could meet those requirements while in theater.

During my dissertation defense, my Committee Chair asked if it was worth it. The sleepless nights, cold and lonely early mornings, those times in training when I didn’t have internet access and had to walk far to find some so I could submit work in Canvas, the isolation and missing family events – was it all worthwhile? I told my Chair, looking back I don’t know how I did it, how I made it to the final defense, and in tears, I said, “It was Worth it!”

Don’t Quit. See it through because, in the end, it is worthwhile. My photo is of me and my mom after my dad passed away two years before I graduated.

Carmen Latvis

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Doctor of Philosophy

Stay the course and use your benefits.

In 2003 I was pregnant with my daughter, Faith, and walked across the stage to receive my Community College of the Air Force degree. I was a young Staff Sergeant and had planned on a military career. Instead, I left the Air Force to be a stay-at-home mom and to homeschool both of my kids. In May, I’m walking across the stage with my daughter as she earns her Bachelor of Science while I receive my Doctorate. In June, my son graduates from high school. When I went back to school, I had no idea that we would all graduate together. It feels surreal that as I end my academic journey my daughter and I once again share the stage.

Jeremy Staat

Marine Corps Veteran

Doctor of Education

I am a retired NFL player, United States Marine, Iraq War Veteran, 3rd generation Veteran, cross-country cyclist, and now a doctor of education. I have had amazing chapters in my life and the toughest chapter for me, thus far, was conquering this educational mountain. Never give up! The summit of your educational journey is never out of reach.

My educational journey has been a struggle. It has been intertwined with difficulties that would have caused most people to give up on their education but my faith in God guided me through the trials and tribulations of life so that I could complete my doctorate in educational leadership.

Cheli Gibson-Chappell

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Focus on completing the mission and not the obstacles that you may come across on your journey to graduation!

Life got in the way of me completing college sooner. I received my associate’s degree in 1995, my bachelor’s degree in 2018, and my master’s degree in 2023. Over the years I’ve learned that there are no time limits for completing your lifelong goals. Each of those years gave me the courage to go higher in my educational goals and here I am today. Never give up!


Denise Garcia

U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps Veteran

Master of Divinity in Chaplaincy

Your determination and discipline have gotten you this far, stay committed to your goal and it will be very fulfilling.

My journey to completing my MDiv began when I received my calling from God to become an Army Chaplain. I had prior service in the U.S. Air Force (3.5 years) and the USMC (6 years) with long breaks in service. I never felt like I was done serving and had become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor serving military veterans and their dependents in a faith-based agency. It was just before my husband retired (after 31 years) from the New Mexico Army National Guard as the state CSM that God called me back to military service (at 50 years old) as an Army Chaplain. It was out of obedience that I accepted God’s calling. It has been an exciting and fulfilling journey and I feel honored and privileged to continue to serve others in the role of an Army Chaplain.

Jennifer Shockley

U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

You didn’t get this far just to get this far—keep going!

God has a plan for us all. On my journey, I’ve needed much strength, and endurance, and I often remembered why God chose this journey for me. He has closed and opened many doors, and I have been grateful for each moment that has brought me this far.

Thomas Wisener

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Your degree is not about you; it is for the glory of God.

Twenty years ago, I was someone who was never going to get a college degree. I planned on spending twenty years in the Marine Corps and then retiring.

However, when my first child was born fourteen years ago, I thought that I should pursue higher education to increase my marketability and future opportunities. After a military move, I paused my education and then left the military within a couple of years. Not wanting to waste my education benefits, I spent one year as a full-time student to earn my associate’s degree.

Then, a few years later, God gave me a deep desire to minister. I went back to school full-time for one year and completed my bachelor’s degree to enter seminary here at Liberty. I spent another two years pursuing my master’s degree. I earned honors on my bachelor’s and master’s degrees while going to school, caring for my family, serving in the local church, and working full-time.

People often asked how I did it, and I always said, “God.” If I tried to accomplish anything on my own, I would have keeled over from sheer exhaustion! I have to thank my wife and children who shared me with education for four years so that I would be better equipped to serve God’s church. Glory be to God and thank you again to my loving and supportive wife!

Willa Montgomery

U.S. Army Veteran

Doctor of Ministry – Leadership

Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ for he will lead you every step of the way to achieve your degree. Trust him, do the work, persevere, and he will transform you through this process. Don’t quit. Keep your focus, and you will reach the finish line of graduation. Then, you have completed your mission.

This journey has been transforming. With God all things are possible! It wasn’t easy in getting this degree. I faced many challenges along the way, but God led my every step. It took discipline and perseverance as I trusted God to achieve this goal of a degree of a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership. Jesus Christ is my anchor! I was able to overcome all obstacles I faced. I honor him with my life, and I will forever be grateful for his sacrifice on the cross for me. I give him all the glory and honor.

Shaliek Tarpley

U.S. Army Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Don’t give up.

While the journey to graduation was difficult, it was worth it!

Hali & John Fugate

U.S. Marine Corps

Master of Education – Elementary Education and Master of Science in Project Management

To all military students diligently working on their degrees, your commitment to serving your country and furthering your education is commendable. The path you’ve chosen is not an easy one, but remember that every assignment completed, every exam conquered, and every obstacle overcome brings you one step closer to achieving your goals. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Your determination, resilience, and dedication are the qualities that not only define you as a student but also as a service member. The skills you’re developing through your studies – critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership – will undoubtedly enhance your capabilities as a service member. Stay focused, stay motivated, and always remember the importance of the journey you’re on. Your hard work will pay off, and your degree will be a testament to your unwavering commitment to both your education and your country. Keep pushing forward. You’ve got this! Best wishes, John & Hali Fugate

Our journey to graduation has been one of perseverance, sacrifice, and unwavering support. As a Military spouse of 31 years, married to a dedicated US Marine of 35 years, the road to graduation has been a shared one. Together, we navigated the challenges of raising a family, enduring countless moves around the world, and weathering the storms of deployments. Despite the obstacles, we remained committed to each other and our shared goals, supporting one another through thick and thin.

For me, the journey to graduation was especially long. Starting with only a high school GED, the dream of walking across a stage to receive a degree seemed distant due to COVID. Yet, with determination and the support of my husband, I pursued my education, finally reaching this milestone alongside him. To graduate with my best friend, who is also receiving his master’s, is nothing short of a blessing and a dream come true. All glory goes to God for guiding us through this journey.

As we embark on this new chapter together, I am reminded of the words from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This scripture serves as a comforting reminder that our graduation is not just an endpoint, but a beginning filled with hope and promise, guided by God’s divine plan for our lives.

Craig Hermans

U.S. Air Force Veteran

Doctor of Health Sciences

Hard work and dedication extend beyond your service; it should always include personal development.

After sustaining significant injuries on deployment, I was forced to think about my life after the military. I found myself working through a second master’s degree and owning a couple of companies following my service. Years later, I found LU and decided to pursue a Doctorate. My time at LU has been full of challenges, faith affirmation, and community. Not long after my courses began, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so we sold our companies and I started a new job. The staff at LU was phenomenal in asking for updates and supporting my family and me as we leaned into our faith in God for health and peace. Graduation for me is a celebration of renewed faith, of overcoming significant health complications for my wife, and of showing my children that self-improvement should never end at any age; even 44 years old!

Edward Kawamura

U.S. Army National Guard SGM

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

Keep pushing forward, every step you take brings you closer to your goals. Remember, challenges are growth opportunities, and every obstacle you overcome strengthens your resolve. Your hard work and dedication will pay off, and your degree will be a testament to your perseverance and determination. Stay focused, stay motivated, and believe in yourself—you’ve got this!

My journey was insightful for me as I was very nervous to start my master’s degree, and wasn’t sure how much time I would be able to devote to my studies while active duty with job and responsibility changes, and trying to make time for family. It all worked out in the end, and I’m very grateful for the experience and the people I connected with along the way.

Edward Buckman

U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

Doctor of Strategic Leadership

Pray that God would make school a blessing, not a burden.

Having grown up in special needs classes, going back to school in my late 30s was terrifying. However, between 2019 and 2023, like any good Marine, I did more with less (mental aptitude) by earning a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Master of Arts in Executive Leadership, and a Doctorate Strategic Leadership. If I can do it, anyone, and I mean anyone can achieve their degree or goal they set for themselves. My beautiful wife started at Liberty last semester and now it’s my turn to see her crush her goal.

Otis Williams

U.S. Army Veteran

Master of Business Administration in Human Resources

Progress over perfection is the key.

Attending Liberty University Online (LUO) as a part-time graduate student was a daunting task because I wanted to finish my degree in two years. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to take some time off to have prostate surgery. I was not sure if I would be able to finish what I started. Effective time management became paramount as I balanced my health concerns with academic responsibilities. LUO helped me accomplish my goals while recovering from surgery. LUO called and prayed for me in my lowest moments. I am glad I did not give up on my dreams of obtaining a Master in Business Administration – Human Resources (MBA-HR). This journey took longer than I expected, but I finished the race.

James W. Bland

U.S. Army SFC (Ret.)

Master of Arts in Executive Leadership


My education journey started in 2014, and I completed my associate’s and bachelor’s while on active duty in the Army. My story with Liberty began in 2021 while still in the military. However, in February 2022 I received the emergency COVID-10 vaccine and tragedy struck, as I was partially paralyzed from the waist down for almost two years due to a rare condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).

While on active duty, I maxed out my tuition assistance to earn my master’s degree. I was medically retired from the military in November 2023. Nine days after I retired, I started my first job as a middle school science teacher. Working in education inspired me to do even more, so next, I will use my VA benefits to earn my Doctor of Education. I hope to one day work in administration as a principal.

With GBS, there is no time frame for full recovery, but I am blessed to be walking now. Walking on stage to receive my master’s degree while my family watches will be one of the proudest moments of my life. Walking again was never a certainty, and receiving my diploma as a proud veteran makes it even more rewarding.

I want to thank my wife Ashley, son Logan, and my on-the-way son Jaxon for being my motivation. I hope to continue to make them proud and be the man God needs me to be.

Cynthia Jeffress

U.S. Army Spouse

Bachelor of Science in English and Writing – Creative Writing

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9

Returning to college is how I found balance in God’s plan to develop me into a writer. When my application to Liberty’s creative writing program was approved, I knew this was the right college. I enrolled in a bachelor’s in English and Writing. At this point in my life, I am fifty-eight years old and determined to follow God’s plan. I am excited, hopeful, and honored that God has chosen me to inspire and uplift teenage girls and young adult women through my writing. I am grateful to God for allowing me to stay the course. My Bachelor of Science in English – Creative Writing was conferred on September 12, 2024. I am pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing and am the Owner of a newly launched Independent Publishing company, H.E.R.S.E.L.F. Publishing LLC (Heaven Eternal Roadmap Seeking Everlasting Father). Although I faced obstacles I always knew God was with me. My faith has inspired me to be courageous and to encourage others to seek Jesus Christ. As Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Act 10:34). God has a plan for everyone and with faith, hard work, and determination, anyone can achieve their dreams. May God continue to protect and bless the men and women in the Military.

Kerri Coleman-Benton

U.S. Army Major

Doctor of Education – Curriculum and Instruction

Keep pushing and stay strong!

Growing up in a small town, I only wanted to be a teacher. I knew that to accomplish this goal, I had to attend college. My collegiate journey began at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, GA in 2000. From the day I stepped foot on the campus, I fell in love with higher education and all that came with it. The more I studied, the more I grew, and I believed I could aid others in their growth. After years of teaching, impacting my students and the community, and obtaining multiple degrees, I relocated to another county and school. While at the new school, I was fortunate enough to work with my first Dr. I remember telling her that I had never seen a Dr. in an elementary classroom, only at colleges, and how lucky her students would be to experience such excellence. Her response was, “You can be one too.” From that day forward, becoming a Doctor of Education became my goal. As a single mother, full-time educator, and officer in the United States Army managing deployments, mobilizations, and training exercises along the way, the journey wasn’t easy. It took longer than expected, but God’s timing is not mine. Though my plan wasn’t coming together fast enough, and at times felt like giving up, his timing was right on time. I’m grateful for Liberty as I learned to lean on God and realize that every misstep, redo, and correction was part of God’s protection and his ultimate plan and promise for my life. I stand today as Dr. Kerri L. Coleman-Benton, and I couldn’t be prouder of this journey and I know that every tear shed was worth it.

Paul Christie

U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and U.S. Army National Guard Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Military History

Historian Dr. James “Bud” Robertson quoted from an Army Private’s letter home during the Civil War; “I do solemnly wish I could bash half the officer’s heads in this battalion against the other half.” I remembered that sentiment as I was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army and then later as I stood in front of my first platoon.

Be the daily encouragement to your family that my family is to me. And remember; “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

Terri Lynn Coleman Randolph

U.S. Army

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Success is in everything you put your mind to.

I never imagined I would have the title of Dr. While growing up in a small town in South Carolina, none of this seemed possible. I never knew educators could hold titles like Dr., and I did not know how powerful education is. Once I began my collegiate journey, I knew I wanted to go as far as possible. The more education I gained, the more I could share and the more significant the impact I could and would make on others. For years, I had given myself reasons not to begin my doctorate until I was out of reasons. God’s timing is always best. He put me on the journey when he knew I was ready. My journey to my final degree was long and filled with many unforeseen challenges. A full-time working, single mother who took custody of my three and five-year-old nephews while navigating health challenges, being mobilized, and the unexpected death of my brother when my sister and I discovered his body. There were countless occasions where I wanted to give up, but I did not. The math wouldn’t allow me to, my “WHY” kept me focused, and prayer kept me going. I wanted my daughter to see me overcome my challenges to accomplish my goal. I was also determined to make myself proud. Just days after burying my brother, I passed my final defense. No goal is impossible if you are determined to accomplish it. With God’s grace, I did!

Melissa Manigault

U.S. Army Major

Master of Arts in Executive Leadership

Remember to take one day at a time. I know firsthand how this journey can feel long and at times, insurmountable. It tests not only your mind but also your endurance, resilience, and spirit. Remember that strength comes from God. Rely on your faith and the promise of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You’ve got this!

Starting my master’s degree in Spring 2021 and completing it in Spring 2024 marked a significant chapter in my life, coinciding with my retirement from the military, 20 years after earning my Bachelor’s. My graduation journey was paralleled by both academic pursuits and a time of overwhelming personal transitions. Balancing the roles of a mother to two wonderful daughters, a wife to an amazing husband, and an Army Officer while navigating studies was challenging. My journey was interspersed with life’s unpredictability, navigating COVID-19, military training, relocating, and switching jobs multiple times. Occasionally, I found myself completing assignments in less-than-ideal situations, such as finishing papers or discussion posts during Army field training, family vacations, or sacrificing family events. Although I was motivated to see the end, the journey was dotted with moments of doubt and stress. In those moments, I was filled with support and encouragement from my family and friends, and most importantly, by God’s grace and mercy. As I approach graduation, I look back with gratitude and forward with excitement. This journey has taught me more than I could have anticipated. I’m so grateful Liberty University is a Christ-centered institution that has taught me how to integrate my beliefs into my professional and personal life. This journey, filled with trials, learning, and growth, has been a testament to perseverance, accomplishment, and faith.

Dane Masuda

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander

Executive Certificate in Strategic Leadership

These classes are a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on the long game, keeping in context your military goals.

Shortly after beginning this doctoral certificate, I was deployed on an aircraft carrier. The limited network connectivity during deployment made it impossible to continue my coursework, necessitating a hiatus. Upon returning, I resumed the courses, only to be selected for a master’s level certificate program at the Naval War College. This required another pause in my studies at Liberty for the duration of the year-long program. After completing the certificate, I continued my courses at Liberty.

LU has been exceptionally supportive, allowing me to concurrently pursue my military professional development while progressing through academic courses. This experience has significantly enhanced my administrative and writing skills. Moreover, the leadership and ethical concepts I’ve learned are directly applicable to my professional life as a Naval Officer. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity for growth and development.

Clinton Harris

U.S. Navy

Master of Business Administration

Perseverance is possible, no matter what you’re faced with. Keep pushing.

I lost both of my parents, a brother, went through a divorce, and became a single full-time dad as I worked towards my degree. There was no room for failure.

Nicole Ball

U.S. Army SFC (Ret.)

Master of Divinity

Never give up, and when in doubt, pray about it and allow God to lead, guide and strengthen you. Where you say you can’t God says you can!

My first attempt at a degree did not go well with my mother tackling cancer, and I had to drop out of school because my grades were so low. After a year or so, a dear friend advised me to return to school. I reapplied, but was told to be prepared to appeal because my grades were low. I ended up being accepted me without an appeal, but I was placed on a probationary period. I knew then that this was where God needed me to be. I attended school because I love the word so much, and I wanted a deeper understanding, but during my journey the courses ended up ministering to me. They encouraged me to stop drinking and smoking (Praise God!), and God showed me my purpose in the Body of Christ (to become a Minister/Evangelist). It is impossible to read and learn the word and not be changed. Anyone who chooses this degree plan that comes out the same should reassess his/her reasons for pursuing this degree.

When I came to Liberty University there were places in my life that were so broken and by learning the word of God through the School of Divinity, God healed me. I am not perfect, but I am far from where I was when I started. I am eager to share the good news! God Bless!

Lori Minnick

U.S. Air Force Lt Col (Ret.)

Graduate Certificate in Executive Strategic Leadership

Do it scared! Make it a priority and surround yourself with others who encourage you to try harder.  If you tell yourself, you can, you will! It is hard balancing military life, family, and even leadership positions. God will give you the strength and the perseverance to make it through.

I graduated with my first degree in criminology in 1996. I was one of the few women in law enforcement and emergency management systems, and when I joined the Air Force, I was one of the few women in aircraft maintenance. I was fortunate enough to earn two master’s while in the military, one in Business Administration and the other in Military Operations and Science. Once I retired, I returned as a government civil servant and continued my education. While in the service I used my educational background to lead and command aircraft maintenance units, teach at the master’s level, and even be the organizational senior functional for logistics in weapons acquisitions. I plan to use my Doctoral Degree to help me advance to a future professor and currently use the educational knowledge in my civilian job as well as my coaching and substitute teacher position at the local middle school. I am currently a senior civilian working in program management for the Air Force while completing my PhD in Strategic Leadership. It is a lot to balance full-time work, single parenting two amazing middle schoolers, and coaching alongside my degree. I believe it is my calling to teach future leaders to lead through Christ while helping those around you with your God-given talents. It’s important to raise your children to be responsible and productive members wherever they live and work.

Nicholas Schillen

U.S. Air Force Colonel (Ret.)

Master of Science in Aeronautics – Aviation Education

Whatever you do, don’t give up.

My decision to return to college for the first time since 1976 was not without its doubts. I tend to overthink before making any significant decisions, but this time, I didn’t. The first few weeks were a challenge, and I felt unprepared for LU’s short-term online learning model. Yet once I took that first step, there was no turning back.

It would be disingenuous of me to deny that thoughts of quitting didn’t cross my mind, especially when faced with the daunting prospect of a capstone project. However, in those moments of worry and self-doubt, I drew strength from my past experiences. The things I worry about the most are often the ones that are least likely to happen.

Looking back, I realize that the journey was as rewarding as the destination. The invaluable feedback from my professors, the joy I found in each course, and, most importantly, the unwavering support and encouragement from my wife all played a significant role in my success. Interestingly, my most fulfilling course was the one I had dreaded the most, the capstone project.

For those still in their academic journey, I implore you to hold on to the words of Matthew 6:34 (NIV), “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Remember, every day is a battle, but quitting is never an option. Keep pushing forward, and you will find your path to success.

Nathaniel Haggar

U.S. Army Veteran

Master of Science in Information Technology – Network Design and Security

Don’t give up; Don’t ever give up. You will achieve your dreams!

My friend referred me to Liberty, which happens to be a military-friendly school. I decided that I needed a master’s in IT to compete in the Washington DC IT workforce. Once I made my mind up, I applied and worked hard; the rest is history. God is good!

Sharon Kozak

U.S. Navy Spouse

Master of Arts in Teaching – Secondary Education

Adapt and Overcome.

My journey to graduation involved two pregnancies, supporting my husband through “chief season” and two military moves. It is hard to overcome military life and make it to graduation, but it’s worth it. I am grateful for the journey.

Tenielle Cook

Army Spouse

Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership – Ministry Leadership

Keep moving forward one assignment at a time!

God led me to pursue seminary to seek higher education. Liberty University’s online doctoral program allowed me to obey God’s voice and continue to serve my family. Now, it is only by the grace and mercies of God and the support of family that I am seeing the manifestation of God’s divine direction. Thank you, LU, for the opportunity to grow as a servant in the kingdom of God!


Charles Collins

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Dedicate time to work on yourself. Your time in the military eventually ends.

Growing up in inner-city Atlanta, I joined the military because I wanted to experience the world. After an injury I sustained overseas, I knew that I needed to plan for the next chapter of life. Now I have graduated with a degree in finance. I am a second-generation college student with my mother being the first to graduate.

Evelyn Crawford

U.S. Army Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Data Networking and Security

Stay focused, stay motivated, and carry on. You got this! Hooah!

I am an Army Veteran who served for eight years with a deployment for Desert Storm. After getting discharged, I got married and had three kids. Once our kids got older, I went back to work. I was working as a security officer when one of my co-workers started telling me about getting his degree from Liberty. After praying to God for guidance, I called Liberty and talked to my husband, who encouraged me to go for it. I enrolled in Liberty’s IT Data Networking and Security degree. So, at 50 years of age, I returned to school and became a college Student; at 54 years of age, I am graduating. I have worked full-time and went to school full-time for four years while still running a household. Never say never because you can do anything you set your mind to. I want to thank God, my husband, and my family, who have supported me. Whenever I got discouraged, I would remember, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, ESV).

Jerry Pitts

U.S. Army Veteran

Doctor of Education – Instructional Design and Technology

To all our military students, press on toward earning your degree amidst the unique challenges you face, knowing that your dedication and resilience are truly admirable. The path you’ve chosen is a testament to your strength and commitment. Remember that the skills and discipline you’ve honed in the military — leadership, perseverance, and the ability to thrive under pressure — are invaluable assets on your educational journey. It’s not just about earning a degree; it’s about setting an example of what it means to relentlessly pursue your goals no matter the obstacles. Your journey is an inspiration, showcasing that with determination and hard work, it’s possible to achieve anything. Keep pushing forward, knowing that every assignment completed, and every exam passed brings you one step closer to your goal. Your future is bright, and the sacrifices you’re making today are paving the way for a successful tomorrow. We believe in you and can’t wait to see all that you will accomplish. Keep going, you’ve got this!

At 57, inspired by a dream and nearing the completion of my master’s in professional writing at Liberty, I felt called to a new career in educational technology. My journey into this field began unexpectedly during the pandemic when I was tasked with leading a distance learning program at my former place of employment. This experience sparked a love for educational technology, leading me to enroll in a Ph.D. in Instructional Design & Technology. Then, in October 2020, God opened a door for me to work as an Educational Technologist at Liberty’s Center for Teaching Excellence, and in May 2023 I was promoted to a Faculty Trainer role. My goal was to complete my Ph.D. before I turned 61, a milestone I proudly achieved last December, just 28 days before my birthday.

This journey, from a 10th-grade dropout with ADHD to reaching the highest academic levels, is a testament to God’s grace and the transformative power of faith and perseverance. After losing my wife to cancer in 2015, I lost my zest for life and retired early. However, a new chapter began when I met a wonderful Christian woman who later became my wife. God used her to encourage me to pursue my dreams, which led me to Liberty. My journey has been shaped by divine guidance and the support of loved ones, and I’m eager to see where it leads next, enjoying every moment of this wonderful ride.

Stanley Cobbs

U.S. Army Veteran

Doctor of Education

Don’t ever give up. Fight to persevere and to win. In the same manner that you fought for this country, fight for your education.

I battled depression, illness, loss of family members to death, and constantly being told that I wouldn’t make it. To God be the glory. When man says NO, I’m glad that God can still say YES. The military gave me a strong foundation to stand on, and that was what I needed the most. Discipline changed my life. I learned that discipline is needed in your family, at your job, while pursuing your education, and while serving the Lord. I truly understand why people say, anything worth having is worth working for. I did the work, and now more doors are opening. I dedicate this degree to Wilsie M. Cobbs. Momma, I made it. RIP.

Brenda Shaw

Army Spouse

Doctor of Education

Thank you for your service. Never stop learning. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.

Returning to college was a significant decision for me. For many military spouses, education is put on hold due to the demands of their husband’s service. However, returning to college signifies reclaiming aspirations and a dedication to continuous learning. As a lifetime learner, Liberty University not only allowed me to acquire knowledge but also provided the opportunity to cultivate skills that contribute to personal and professional development. Moreover, Liberty University offers stability and empowerment amidst the transient nature of military life. LU provides an opportunity to establish a career path that can adapt to the challenges of relocation and deployment. Military spouses can find community and support among fellow students and faculty through LU. The unique experiences as part of the military community enrich classroom discussions and contribute to a diverse learning environment. Returning to college as a lifetime learner and military spouse is a testament to perseverance, adaptability, and a commitment to personal fulfillment despite the unique challenges. Thank you, Liberty University.

Reginald Hyman

U.S. Army Veteran

Certificate in Executive Business Administration

Stay focused. You can make it!

I previously earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Mount Olive in 2017. Later, I decided to pursue an MBA from Walden University and graduated in August 2020. My main goal is to pursue a DBA in Human Resources so I began the Executive certificate program and completed it on March 8, 2024. These courses will transfer into the DBA program, which I am currently enrolled in and I plan to attend this summer or fall.

Racquel Cunningham

U.S. Navy Veteran

Doctor of Ministry – Pastoral Counseling

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:1 that we never give up. Those same words were told to me by my pastor at the beginning of this journey; we never give up. And look where I am today. Keep pressing on. It will be well worth it.

This has been an uphill journey. I am forever grateful for those who supported and encouraged me when I wanted to give up on myself. But God (I love but God moments)! When I was weak, he gave me his strength and comforted my anxious nerves. To God Be the glory. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not!

Richard Ofori

U.S. Marine Corps

Doctor of Business Administration

Hard work and determination pay off. Don’t give up on your dreams!

My doctoral journey started at Capella University but unfortunately, I dropped out while a PhD candidate. I didn’t receive much support from that school. After some time, I enrolled at Liberty University and completed a second master’s degree, and I was compelled to enroll in a Liberty doctoral program after the massive support I received during my Master of Finance. With the overwhelming support at Liberty, I was able to complete my Doctorate in Business Administration (Finance Project). I never gave up on my dreams of becoming a doctor, even after the challenges I encountered at my former school. Hard work and perseverance pay off in the end.

Rusking Pimentel

U.S. Army National Guard

Master of Science in Marketing – Social Media Management

Keep pushing forward, your perseverance will lead you to success!

My journey to a master’s degree has been a testament to determination and balance. Balancing my civilian job, military duties, and fatherhood has presented countless challenges, but each obstacle only fueled my resolve. Late nights of studying after long days of work and military obligations became the norm, all while ensuring I was present for my family. Yet, through it all, the support of loved ones, the discipline instilled by military service, and my unwavering commitment to personal growth kept me moving forward. Now, as I stand on the cusp of this achievement, I’m filled with gratitude for the journey and the invaluable lessons learned along the way.

Diane Evans

Navy Spouse

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education

To all the resilient, brave, and dynamic military spouses out there: Though the path ahead may appear daunting or insurmountable, with unwavering faith and determination, you will overcome. Stay dedicated, steadfast, and purposeful in pursuing your goals. Trust that God will guide you every step of the way.

Reflecting on my educational journey fills me with gratitude and humility. I started out on this path in 1984 at Norfolk State University, though I didn’t complete my degree at the time. Life led me down different roads as I got married and started a family. Throughout the years, thoughts of obtaining my degree lingered in my mind, but other responsibilities took precedence.

After supporting my family through their educational pursuits, and helping raise my granddaughters, a pivotal moment arose when my husband’s work required us to move to Alexandria, VA. This shift ignited a flame within me to finally pursue my long-held dream of completing my degree. Despite doubts and fears of inadequacy, I leaned on faith and prayer for strength.

Navigating through exams and challenges, I found solace in Philippians 1:6, knowing that the journey wasn’t just mine but part of a greater plan. Despite the passage of 40 years, God’s timing prevailed, and I stand here today, a testament to perseverance and faith.

Shabarbara Everette

Army Spouse

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling

Finding a way to balance life, work, and school can be a difficult process. There will be long nights of reading and research papers, but don’t quit. Be encouraged because your hard work will be rewarded in the end.

I started this journey to earn my master’s degree eleven years ago. When I started my second class, I found out that I had cancer for the third time. I dropped out of school and closed my business. I made the necessary arrangements and prepared to die since there aren’t many people who survive cancer three times. I am grateful to God that he kept me after almost dying on the operating table three times.

While attending Liberty I had multiple surgeries so I had to take a few breaks in between classes. I am the caretaker for my mother who has late-stage Parkinson’s disease and other health concerns. My mother was so sick that she ended up in a coma and on a ventilator, but God spared her life. I’ve had the opportunity to foster forty-four children and adopt a son who has thirty-four diagnoses. There were several times that I was doing homework in the emergency rooms and hospital rooms with my son or my mother.

There were many days I wanted to quit, but earning this degree meant so much to me. This was a goal that I needed to achieve. This degree is not just a piece of paper to me. It is proof that a little girl from the projects who has endured some of life’s toughest challenges can still succeed. I am grateful that military funds (Chapters 33 & 35) helped me to make my dreams come true.

Taylor Lawrence

U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant

Master of Science in Engineering Management – Leadership

You didn’t come this far just to come this far! Trust God. Don’t get in your own way. Finish strong and change the world for the better!

Jeremiah 29:11 starts by saying “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord” and that is how my journey to this graduation began. Obtaining my master’s degree was always a goal of mine, but not this soon. God put me in proximity with the right people, who knew I had this goal and allowed them to push me to accomplish it sooner rather than later. So, I applied, was accepted, and started my master’s degree! I completed this degree while starting a new job, and going through multiple TDYs, all while trying to maintain a normal lifestyle. This is because I wanted to keep my pursuit of a degree between myself and the two people who were there to push me. 15 months later, I became a candidate for graduation! God is great!

James Summers

U.S. Navy Veteran

Doctor of Business Administration – Strategic Management

A military career gets you started on the path; you must remember to finish it!

The military was just the beginning. I left the military for a job in IT. I finished the long path to a doctorate while working in IT (for 29 years) and starting my IT business.

William Barton

U.S. Army MSGT (Ret.)

Doctor of Education

Keep focused on the goal of earning your degree, and never, ever give up!

Following 22 years of active duty as an Infantry and Special Operations U.S. Army Paratrooper, I decided to further my education by earning a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree. I used my education to continue my service to my community as a public school teacher. Helping shape the lives of students drove my passion for teaching. Following 15 years of teaching, I decided to return to higher education, as a student, and earn my Doctorate in Educational Leadership at 65 years of age!

This led me to Liberty University. The hours were long, the work challenging, and I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I learned quite a bit about myself as I was placed in the role of a student and not a teacher. I am a better teacher now for my students because of the humbling, gratifying, and rewarding experiences. A personal high for me was being addressed as “Doctor” following the successful defense of my Capstone Problem of Practice. This achievement serves to prove one thing. You are NEVER too old to accomplish your goals and pursue your dreams.

Quincy Black

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

Bachelor of Science in Religion

The Soldiers Creed states: “I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.” God has a plan for your life, do not quit before you complete this journey.

Twenty-five years ago, I made the best life decision: I pursued my wife. Proverbs 18:22 states, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” My Angel has been my prayer warrior and supporter who encouraged me to be a better husband, father, and military and community leader. God led me to ministry as a spiritual obligation for me to share his mercy and Gospel with the world. After 20 years of active-duty service, God has allowed me to have the academic credentials to pursue ministry full-time. God is so good and I’m excited for the next season of life.

Elisabeth Loudd

Navy Spouse

Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Christian Counseling

Dedication is your middle name. Keep pushing like you’ve been trained and you can do it too!

To keep it frank, I dropped out of high school when I was pregnant during my senior year. I went back to school later and earned my diploma and attending Liberty was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It was well worth the hard work. But with God, I did reach my goal. Liberty prepared me with a strong foundation for my future career along with an ability to present Christ when the opportunity arises within my sphere of influence.

Duane Patchen

U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy Reserves PO1

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Persist. Keep grinding. Persevere.

I served in the Marines during the 90’s. After my first enlistment, I left the military to start a successful civilian career as a semiconductor equipment engineer. 19 years after I left active duty, I joined the Naval Reserves to serve again. I felt blessed by what the Marine Corps had done for me and wanted to give back to the next generation. I always wanted to earn a degree, but once I had kids, that went on hold. I waited until my youngest was in 1st grade to resume my studies, and finally graduated in December 2022. I immediately went for my masters. My wife encouraged and supported me during this nearly 4-year journey. She is a blessing. Another blessing was attending a school that educated with a Christian worldview. It added another dimension to learning I did not get in undergrad.

Ronda Hoffman

U.S. Army Veteran

Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Never give up.

I’m an older student. I was determined to finish this goal. It was very challenging while working full-time. My daughter had my grandson during the time I was in school. He was premature and in NICU for eight weeks. That made my classes even more challenging. I dropped some classes and then had to double up so I could get everything finished. It was a challenge but a very rewarding one.

Israel Miranda

U.S. Army SSG (Ret.)

Master of Business Administration

To all the military students diligently working towards their degrees: Your dedication and perseverance in balancing your academic pursuits with the noble service of your country is truly inspiring. Remember, every step forward is a step towards achieving your goals. Keep pushing, keep striving, and know that your hard work will pay off. Your courage does not go unnoticed, and your efforts will lead to success. Stay strong, stay focused, and carry on with the same determination that you serve.

I started my journey in 2016 when I had to put my studies on hold due to the birth of my son. This was followed by loss of income with a new family to support. Fast forward to 2021, and I decided to continue through long nights, stress, and work for my family. It has been a rewarding experience and one that has opened doors for me.

Kenneth Williams

U.S. Army National Guard MSgt

Master of Education

By working on your degree, you are that much closer to life after your service. Aim for a profession that makes you happy and one that gives you joy each day.

Wow, where do I begin? This journey has been a long but rewarding one. After earning my Bachelor’s in 2019 I knew that within 5 years or so I’d be leaving active service and would need something to jump-start my next career. After talking to a student advisor with LU, I decided that school counseling was my next chapter. I was excited and eager from 2019-2023. I’m now looking to retire in June of 2024 and God has me in a school today. I had to navigate senior leadership that did not want to support so many hours of internship and being moved out of a leadership position I loved because of this pursuit. I have a family that still requires my love and attention. I was on the road for 3 hours a day to the base location from my home of record. I was a Young Adult leader in my church and that still required planning and preparation of events. Through it all, God’s purpose for my life drove me to push through it. I’m still standing in the name of Jesus, and I’m where I am meant to be.

“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 NIV‬‬

Marlene Zumach

U.S. Army Veteran

Master of Divinity – Chaplaincy

Keep working towards your degree with help from God.

I was about fifty when I started on my Bachelor of Science in Theology and Religious studies and then I went on to start my Master of Divinity in Chaplaincy and finished at the age of sixty-seven. It was all online, so I had to work and study on my own. I graduated with a GPA of 3.12, and worked as a substitute teacher while doing my studies.

Nicholas Holguin

U.S. Air Force TSgt

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

For the military students still working towards their degree: “cursum manere” stay the course!

I am amazed by the incredible journey I have embarked on and the goal I have accomplished. As I reflect on my past, I realize that I had no clear direction in life and the idea of attending college seemed unattainable. I joined the Air Force in 2010 and by the grace of God, I was fortunate to have the guidance and support of exceptional supervisors who genuinely cared about my growth and future. With their encouragement, I enrolled in Liberty University and embarked on an online college journey. Admittedly, the road to my bachelor’s degree was not without its challenges. I faced moments of uncertainty, changed my degree a few times, and even took breaks from my studies. However, it was during one of these breaks that I received life-changing news—I was going to become a father. This news fueled my determination to break the cycle and become the first college graduate in my family. The fire within me continues to burn brightly as I set my sights even higher. Currently, I am enrolled in classes pursuing a Master of Arts in Executive Leadership at Liberty. I hope that my story serves as an inspiration to others who find themselves in similar circumstances. No matter where you come from or what challenges you face, remember that you have the power to shape your destiny. Embrace the journey, embrace the challenges, and never lose sight of the incredible potential that lies within you.

Heath Lucas

U.S. Navy Lieutenant (Ret.)

Doctor of Education

It’s God’s plan.

After retiring from active duty in 2020, I needed to realign my professional credentials for the teaching profession. Liberty’s top-quality training, schedule flexibility, and military benefits were the perfect combination for me. I now have the confidence and skills to continue my second career as an educator.

Lisa Lawlor-Yeomans

Navy Spouse

Associate of Arts in Apologetics

Don’t quit.

I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 27 years and felt called by God to enter the ministry field. I’m currently working on my bachelor’s in Religion with a focus on Evangelism. My husband Keith joined the Navy Reserves in 2001 and is a construction mechanic.

Rachel Marks

U.S. Air Force MSgt

Master of Executive Leadership

You got this! Take it one day at a time and slowly, but surely you will finish. Proud of you!

My name is Rachel and I have served in the Air Force for 15 years. I’m humbled to announce the completion of my Masters in Executive Leadership! To those who have never pursued their education, a degree might appear to be a mere “piece of paper,” but to me, it means so much more! I see the time sacrificed to complete the assignments, the discipline it took to finish a degree, the inspiration it instilled in those around me, and the determination to better myself. Balancing a full-time career in the military, being a mother and a wife, all while completing my education was a challenge, but it can be done! As I type this story, I am completing my last course while deployed to Africa, unsure if we will make it back to the United States in time for commencement. Nevertheless, I want to say congratulations to everyone on their big accomplishment!! We did it! #Classof2024

Robert Williams

U.S. Army

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Just as we were trained not to give up, be resilient and overcome the obstacles in your way. You got this. Hooah!

Murray Huling

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force

Doctor of Education – Education Leadership

You’ve got this! Always rely on God first.

I have worked in aviation for over 30 years. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, and an MBA, and started my doctorate in 2019. It was not easy, but extremely rewarding. If I can do this at 62 anyone can!

Larry Houck

U.S. Army Veteran

Master of Science in Homeland Security and Disaster Management

Urge your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere. Pray when driving. Pray when fighting. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray by night and pray by day. Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for battle. Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression. Pray for victory. Pray for our Army and pray for peace. We must march together, all out for God. George S. Patton

Stewart Marshall

U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army National Guard Veteran

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Be persistent and never give up on your dreams!

I joined the US Marines out of high school in 1980, served for four years, and was honorably discharged in 1984. I then joined the Maryland Army National Guard where I served for 21 years. Upon turning 60, I retired from the service. In 2009 I went on active duty in the Army and was medically discharged in Anchorage, Alaska.

Jon Armbruster

U.S. Marine Corps CWO2

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Never give up on yourself.

After joining the Marines in 2007, I was hesitant to pursue my degree as I thought military life was “too busy” for school. However, Liberty University Online provided the flexibility and learning environment I needed to make this goal a reality. I began in earnest in 2019, and despite a few deployments, I was able to finish my program in under four years. The Lord always has a path for us. You just need to trust him and take it.

David Mauritzen

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant

Bachelor of Science in Aviation

There will be more hard days than easy days, but everything is worth it in the end.

I started my degree back in 2019. Because I am in an aviation degree I had to go to an airport for my flying classes. The closest airport to the base was an hour and forty-five minutes away, so every day, I woke up around 4:00 a.m. to be able to catch at least 2-3 flights. I have done homework in a hot Humvee in the desert and the middle of a flight line in undisclosed locations, but there was never an excuse. Where there is a will, there is a way. I was not supposed to make it, and I surprised myself with how much I got done.


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