Mother Accepts Honorary Degree For Fallen Green Country Soldier
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - A fallen soldier received his college degree after making the ultimate sacrifice.
Sergeant Anthony Peterson was a member of the 45th Infantry and was killed in Afghanistan last summer. Saturday, his family accepted a degree in his honor.
It's a moment that every parent dreams of: watching their child cross the stage to earn a college degree. But things are different for the Peterson family.
"Just wishing that he could be the one here doing it instead of me or his dad," Anthony's mother Terra Peterson said.
Terra and Garth are the proud parents of Sergeant Anthony Peterson. In August, Anthony was killed while serving his country in Afghanistan.
"You're never prepared to lose a child," Garth Peterson said. "That's just something unless you've been through it, you can't understand it."
Anthony graduated from Chelsea High School in 2005. The following year, he left for his first tour in Afghanistan.
"When he got back home, he did a little bit of military recruiting and then he decided to come to RSU," Terra said.
At Rogers State University, Anthony was majoring in Liberal Arts. He studied there until fall 2010. He then left for his second tour in Afghanistan.
Now, his mother is the one crossing the stage to accept a degree in his honor.
"We're just thankful," Garth said. "We're thankful for RSU for what they've done. They're honoring Anthony in this way and we're very grateful for that."
Terra and Garth say it's been a tough eight months without their son. But it gets a little easier day by day.
"You can be sad about what you're going to miss, or you can be thankful for what you had and so we're thankful for what we had," Garth said. "It's not goodbye, it's just see you later."
"Enjoy your time with your children and your family, that's important," Terra said. "Just be grateful and thankful for everyday that you have with them. You can't get it back."
The Peterson's describe Anthony as a passionate person. They say he would have enjoyed this ceremony with his classmates.
This was also a special day for RSU. It was their 100th graduation ceremony and the first time they've ever given a degree to a fallen soldier.