Army Veteran's journey to graduation day

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - More than 800 students graduated from Augusta University on Friday. One of those graduates is a retired Army veteran who says the moment is one he had been looking forward to for more than five years.

For Jeremiah Butler, this is a feeling he was unsure if he would ever experience

"This is excitement a little bit of anxiousness to get it over with to get that paper in my hand," Butler told WFXG FOX 54 News Now.

While others will walk across stage, this Army veteran will be rolling in his wheelchair. Butler, who was a Private First Class in 2003, suffered a spinal injury one year after enlisting.

"The injury itself was a challenge, but I think it's prepared me for other challenges along in life," he says.

The first challenge was getting used to his wheelchair. After several years of rehabbing, he wanted to take on something else, earning a college degree.

"School in and of itself has been its own challenge outside of the injury," Butler says.

For now, this Music Education Major is thanking his community, parents, and friends for sticking with him through the ups and downs. "I have had a few offers to teach. So I'm not sure if I want to go directly into teaching or if I want to go ahead and go back to the Masters Program."

Jeremiah Butler says whichever journey lies ahead, he'll be more than ready.

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