Gwinnett County

Georgia Army vet, high school dropout graduating from college

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia woman who dropped out of high school at 16 because she “just didn’t want to do it anymore” and joined the U.S. Army a short time later, is now fulfilling her dream of graduating college.

In 2009, Morgan George, now 31, signed up for the Army as a veterinary technician and just a little over a year after dropping out of high school, she was in combat in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Lawrenceville native traveled between outposts taking care of military working dogs. She was also tasked with acting as a liaison between Afghan women who would not often speak with men and the military units in their villages.

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During her second deployment in 2011 to Japan, she developed a passion for service and helping animals. She also had her daughter, Dannilee, during that deployment.

After returning to the U.S., she left the Army as a sergeant, but had a difficult transition to the civilian world. George ended up enrolling in Georgia Gwinnett College in 2018.

“I was able to get a decent job, but with no upward mobility because of my lack of education. I knew I wanted to be a part of research, so I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “But the research I wanted to be a part of was something I had no experience in. I didn’t even know what to call it. I only knew it as ‘saving the world.’ I came to find out that it was actually called environmental science.”

After years of hard work, George is now graduating from Georgia Gwinnett College with her Bachelor’s in environmental science. After graduation, she will begin working as a researcher in a pathogen laboratory at the University of Georgia.

“I was lucky to have unwavering support from my daughter and my parents throughout this journey,” she said.

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More than 600 Georgia Gwinnett College students will be graduating on Tuesday at Gas South Arena.


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