RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA.com) — A group of veterans celebrated their graduation Friday as they prepare to reenter the workforce armed with new skills.

Marine Corps veteran Michael Fisher Jr. was among 20 veterans graduating from the Universal Technical Institute with a degree in automotive diesel and industrial technology.

“Not everybody can say that their son or their daughter graduated,” said Fisher, who served tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “So it’s really big in my family. And school’s always number one priority.”

Fisher was discharged in 2011 with a Purple Heart for his service, after an IED explosion left him with third degree burns, hearing loss and shrapnel in his body.

Graduation comes at a time of personal heartbreak for the decorated veteran, who lost his mother just months earlier to cancer. He said she would be proud of his accomplishment.

“We are so proud to support our military veterans coming back from serving our country, and helping them transition back into civilian life,” said Sean Carlson, UTI Campus President. “Allowing them and preparing them for jobs in the industry is fantastic.”

Fisher said he will continue his education, and plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.


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