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Military veteran, 83, to receive Ph.D. from LSU

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BATON ROUGE - You are never too young to learn something new. An 83-year-old veteran has continued his education and soon will receive his Ph.D. from LSU.

According to the university, Johnnie Jones will get the degree on December 14. Before working on his Ph.D., Jones already had his bachelor's degree as well as a master's degree.

“Every person regardless of his station in life, or his or her limitations, should seek to be the best he or she can really be. And you spend your time living not thinking about dying. Death will take care of itself,” Jones said in a video shared by the university.

The eager student said he hopes to go to law school next. While Jones said he doesn't plan to become an attorney, he wants to go to law school "for knowledge."

Jones, originally from Mississippi, joined the Marine Corps at 18. His LSU education started while he was deployed in Vietnam.

“I wanted to stay connected, so to speak. I didn’t want to run the risk of losing interest, because I had begun studies at San Diego Community College when I went to Vietnam,” Jones said. “LSU’s correspondence course was offered to any student, regardless where they were or what their status was, so I just happened to take advantage of the program.”

After leaving Vietnam, the veteran got a degree from the University of Hawaii and moved to California. He then applied to LSU for graduate school and got in.

Jones got his Masters of Social Work from LSU in 1975. Before he could complete his path to getting his PhD, Jones said he took a job with the Department of Corrections to provide for his family. At the time, he was only nine hours away from getting his next degree. Unfortunately, Jones ran over the required seven-year time period give to complete his PhD.

Years later, Jones attempted to start over but became ill and couldn't finish. He later got help from a professor who helped him get an extension, allowing Jones to complete his dissertation without starting over.

The university said that Jones will be getting his diploma during the LSU College of Agriculture Friday at 12:30 p.m.


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