Vietnam Vet graduates after 40 years

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


After putting his education on pause for over 4 decades, one Vietnam veteran finally has his bachelor’s degree.

General Dickerson believes that no matter what age or where you are in life, there is always room for improvement.

“In Hawaii, I started my degree in 1978,” said Ret. First Sergeant General Dickerson, United States Marine Corps.

On the home stretch of finishing his degree, Dickerson had to put his degree on hold.

“I was transferred from Hawaii in December 1980, and I needed three semester hours to complete my degree,” he said.

Dickerson retired from the Marine Corps in 1986 working a few jobs part-time through the years.

Most recently working with H&R Block during tax season for the last 15 years.

It was during the summer of 2020 when he made the decision to finish what he started more than 40 years ago.

“I decided I was going to contact the university to see what was required for me to complete my degree,” Dickerson continued.

After a few semesters of class, he finally achieved the goal he had since high school.

“When I walked up there on that stage and finally had that degree in my hand, the feeling was just indescribable,” Dickerson explained.

Walking across that stage also made Dickerson a first-generation graduate in his family.

“I’m 75 years old now and I will probably never go back into the workforce, but it’s still important to be educated,” he said.

Although he is retired, Dickerson still finds ways to keep himself busy.

“I’m a big gardener,” he said. “I like to garden.”

He said he gardens because he likes to see development and growth something he wants everyone to use in their daily life.

“Any young person out there needs to know that they should never stop educating themselves,” Dickerson finished.

Dickerson says he wanted to share his story to encourage those who have started and stopped their education.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.