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Garrett Anderson ’10 joined the U.S. Army as a way to help pay for school. After serving his country, he planned on getting a degree and becoming a police officer. But after serving eight years, he lost his right arm while fighting in Iraq.
Since his injury made a career in law enforcement difficult, he shifted his focus to helping other veterans. A job with the Department of Veterans Affairs became the new destination, with a degree in criminal justice from Illinois State the first stop.
“There was less stress on life for me,” he said. “I put more focus on school, and that allowed me to graduate on time.”
Garrett became the first in his family to graduate with a four-year degree. And seeing him graduate made a lasting impression on his 4-year old daughter.
“She was at my graduation and she thought it was the greatest thing in the world. She’ll always have a memory of me walking across the stage and getting my diploma.”