BARTLETT, Tenn. (WMC) - Graduation ceremonies have been very different this year, even for those joining the military.
Despite the challenges the class of 2020 has faced, one young man is proud to be joining the United States Marine Corps.
D’Cherion Nelson just graduated from Morehouse College. He attended school through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
Due to COVID-19, Nelson had a virtual Marine Commissioning Ceremony on Friday. He is now a Second Lieutenant in the Marines.
He says even though it wasn’t a normal ceremony, it doesn’t take away from what this day represents.
“That moment represents the blood, sweat and tears literally. The blood sweat and tears that I put in the last four years,” said Nelson.
The program gave Nelson the opportunity attend college on a full ride scholarship.
“This moment seemed so far away when I was a freshmen in college, because it was just training on top of training,” said Nelson.
As Nelson virtually tuned in for his Marine Commissioning Ceremony he was surrounded by family and mentors who could not be more proud.
"You see a shining bright… That they can achieve something and you keep working with them and you don’t let them quit, but he was the one that was the overachiever,” said Mark Tompkins, USMC Veteran.
"I'm just, I'm just over proud, you know. He didn't stop, he didn't let nothing get in his way,” said Nelson’s grandmother, Loamma Smith.
Despite not having a normal graduation, Nelson is proud to join the Marines and serve his country.
“Hopefully I’ll be an intelligence officer coming out of TBS, but if not, pretty much any job in the Marine Corps will satisfy me because at the end of the day I’m serving my country,” said Nelson.