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JBLM Servicemembers honored for their education excellence

1st Lt. Terrance Golliday shows off his Master's Degree from Pierce College to his daughter, Laterika, after the JBLM Education Services 3rd Annual Military Academic Achievement Awards Nov. 17, 2011.

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It's hard to argue with Pierce College's claims to having amazing students, ones who not only get good grades and overcome adversity, but do it while serving their country.

A cancer diagnosis didn't stop Sgt. Brandon Booth from maintaining a 4.0 grade average. Being a single father of three children and serving as an officer didn't stand in in the way of 1st Lt. Terrance Golliday's studies either.

These servicemembers, and eight others were recognized for their education studies excellence Nov. 17 during the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Education Services 3rd Annual Military Academic Achievement Awards ceremony at the John D. "Buck" Hawk Army Education Center on Lewis North.

Both Soldiers and Airmen were presented awards, representing the first time as a joint base.

The event honored those military students who have stood out academically at Pierce College, Central Texas College, Saint Martin's University, Troy University, Brandman University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The awards event coincided with the 90th anniversary of American Education Week, which emphasizes education's importance in the United States.

JBLM Garrison Senior Enlisted Adviser Chief Master Sgt. Dedra Lewis told the servicemember-students that their hard work and accomplishments did not go unnoticed.

"Today you are recognized by your school's faculty, staff and fellow students for setting an example of scholarly excellence," Lewis said.

"You are commended for the commitment you have made to reach your education goals, and I applaud your efforts."

Schools chose the award winners based on their academic merits and ability to overcome undue hardships or struggles.

"The schools said these students are exemplary and stand above the rest," said Army Education Services College Coordinator Patrice Hamilton.

The Airmen and Soldiers kept up their grades while facing multiple deployments, studying in less-than-ideal environments, or even keeping up difficult medical appointments, as was the case for a wounded warrior acknowledged at the event.

"We always see every year the completion of the degree and academic completion process at graduation, but we don't always recognize our Soldiers (and Airmen) who go through a whole lot to get to this point," Hamilton said. Family support is also a major factor in academic excellence, Hamilton said.

Having the Family to back up a military student is just the kind of support needed to keep going.

"If someone is motivating you and staying behind you all the way, you'll want to finish," Hamilton said.


Brandman University Master Sgt. Robert Q. Duran Sgt. 1st Class Christopher D. Black Central Texas College Sgt. Derek Tanner Embry-Riddle Capt. Angela Hodgson Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven Gentry Pierce College 1st Lt. Terrance Golliday Sgt. Brandon Booth Saint Martin's University Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Quiles Southern Illinois University Chief Master Sgt. John C. Foster Troy University Staff Sgt. Rob Thompson

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