Veteran Graduates From Virginia Community College Alongside His Daughter

This graduation season is extra special for Marvin Fletcher and his daughter, SaNayah Hill, as they got to walk across the stage together.

The Portsmouth-based duo graduated from Tidewater Community College (TCC) earlier this month.

Fletcher, a veteran who spent eight years in the Army and four years in the Marines, earned his associate degree in applied science in management.

Meanwhile, Hill, a 17-year-old junior at Deep Creek High School, got started on her professional goals early, earning a career studies certificate in emergency medical service.

“I’m humbled and honored to have served. And I like the fact that my daughter wants to serve in the medical field in her own way,” Fletcher said of the pair’s accomplishments. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity that TCC afforded myself, as well as other veterans, and my daughter.”

“I didn’t really know what to say about the situation because it’s almost unheard of,” Hill noted. “It was definitely very interesting, and I was definitely excited about the whole experience.”

With his degree, Fletcher aims to help operate a government group home specializing in “veterans with PTSD and things of that nature.” He also shared that he’s considering obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

As for Hill, she still has another year of high school. However, she’s already thinking about applying to other schools to prepare herself better to work as an emergency medical technician (EMT).

“I had already known what emergency medical technicians and paramedics were, so once I saw that I was able to do it, I definitely jumped on it as soon as I could,” Hill said.

Fletcher shared some words of wisdom and told others, particularly veterans, that they could accomplish anything.

“Being a father, a retired soldier, or veteran with a disability, who suffers from mental illness, including PTSD — I challenge myself and I still continue to push myself as much as possible,” Fletcher noted. “If I can be a beacon of light or hope for any veteran out there that suffers the same affliction or something different, I would like to do that and be that for someone. Not just for myself or for my community or my kids.”

“It’s taken me a long time to get here,” he added. “I think things are meant to be.”