By Nicole Wiseman, NewsOn6.com
FOYIL, OK -- An Oklahoma native is looking to the future on how he can better serve his country.
Curtis Cullen of Foyil spent about seven months in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army and was then accepted into West Point.
Cullen graduated from West Point a week ago. Graduating has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience for Second Lt. Curtis Cullen.
"I didn't really have the mindset of going to college, but it's one of the toughest academic curriculums out there," said Second Lt. Curtis Cullen, U.S. Army.
Twenty-one credit hours a semester, intramurals and, of course, military training makes for a long day.
"You'd like to be done at 6:00 or 7:00, but your day doesn't end until 10:00 or midnight usually and you're back up at 6:30 the next day to start all over," said Cullen.
He started with 1,250 students. Students who were just like him and eager to be part of the program, however, about 980 finished. The ones who didn't make it either resigned or were kicked out.
"I'm glad I made it through. I didn't have any close calls, where they were going to kick me out. I'm glad," said Cullen.
Cullen's persistence and hard work paid off.
"The diplomas haven't changed much in 100 years or more," said Cullen.
But, Cullen hopes he can make some changes of his own.
"I think it's an honor to be able to serve overseas and show people what we're about and maybe change some perceptions and change some mindsets and make some friends," said Cullen.
Cullen has gained new experiences and leadership skills he says he will use to continue to serve his country and lead others.
"I look forward to, as an officer, being able to council and mentor and lead soldiers," Cullen said. "So, it's a very rewarding experience."
Cullin has a couple of months to catch up with friends and then it's back to work, starting with Africa this summer.
Cullin says he wants to go back to Afghanistan and probably will in the next year.