Student gets graduation ceremony before being deployed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/22/09

Student gets graduation ceremony before being deployed

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thursday Lubbock Christian University held a special graduation ceremony for a student before being deployed to Afghanistan next Monday. Staff Sergeant Ramiro Hernandez was scheduled to graduate this December, but over the summer he was told we would be going overseas in just four days.

"Our education faculty began to realize the magnitude of what his future was, so we thought it would be nice if we honored him now before he deployed on Monday," said LCU President Ken Jones. LCU gave Hernandez a one of a kind ceremony, that he would have other wised missed.

"Overwhelmed, just really gracious of LCU, they went a really long way to make this a really special occasion for me," said Hernandez after the ceremony.

Hernandez started LCU in the fall of 2007 after having served four years in Iraq in the United States Air Force. In order to graduate with a degree in Education and a teaching certification in Social Studies, Hernandez had to work extra hard.  "I really crammed a lot into a little bit of time, my wife, I couldn't have done it without her," said Hernandez.

Hernandez is the first in his family to graduate from college and family and friends came to watch his graduation. "He's an important part of my life and I'm glad I got to help him and support him because he's just really special to me," said Hernandez's wife Annikka Hernandez.

Hernandez will leave behind many loved ones on Monday including his two year old daughter. "My daughter is the light of my life," said Hernandez. "I don't even know how to begin to tell her, or make her understand. I guess we'll just take it one day at a time, that's all you can do," said Annikka about her daughter missing her father.

Before leaving, Hernandez had one last thing to say to the New Deal High School football team he helped coach this year. "Go get 'em guys, I know you're going to do well!" Once Hernandez gets back he hopes to find a teaching and coaching job in a small time and to just spend as much time with his family as possible.

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