News 12 at 11 o'clock -- May 7, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The real world is next for many Augusta State University graduates, but for some it could be the battlefield.
When the cadets entered college, America was fully involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and troops are still fighting.
Most graduates are trading campus life to take on a tough job market, but for these new 2nd Lieutenant's, it's campus to service.
Eleven cadets stood tall as other soldiers salute our star spangled banner, which is a banner representing the country they now serve.
"It's a very prestigious moment going to school and getting a degree," said 2nd Lt. Adrienne Stuckey of Troy University. "It's pretty strenuous, but this day is here."
For 2nd Lt. Stuckey, who received a degree in Criminal Justice, it's also special for her father Ronnie Stuckey, who is a retired military man.
"I didn't ask her to, she made her decision and she wanted to go Criminal Justice and I'm so proud," Ronnie Stuckey said.
Same story for 2nd Lt. Toby Forbes, his dad saluted him in too.
"I was in the Navy then I got out of the Navy to get commissioned in the Army," said 2nd Lt. Forbes. "I'm excited, this is the fruition of a few years of hard work."
But Lt. Colonel Karen Roe said the hard work has just begun.
"They will go through officer basic course in either signal, armor, chemical, field, artillery and that course is anywhere from four months to nine months," Lt. Colonel Roe said.
After that the battlefield could be their next stop, she said.
"I wish when I talked to parents I could say their son or daughter will not have to go to war," Lt. Colonel Roe said. "The fact is we still have a lot of soldiers deployed and so many of these soldiers will find themselves in those situations leading soldiers into combat."
For the Stuckey family combat is nothing new, 2nd Lt. Stuckey's sister just got back from Afghanistan.
"It's kind of built in my genes," 2nd Lt. Stuckey said. "If you feel it in yourself even though it might be strenuous on the other side of it, but it's nothing I feel like I couldn't do or anybody else couldn't do either."
Second Lt. Forbes, who received a degree in Political Science, also said he would be excited to lead soldiers into combat in a war.
The 11 cadets who graduated all received degrees in different areas other than Military Science and that allows them to enter the Army and make an impact immediately.