STORY OF HOPE

Vietnam Veteran Earns Bachelor’s Degree at 77 Years Old: ‘If I Can Do It, Anybody Can’

A Vietnam veteran from South Carolina recently proved it is never too late to pursue one’s dreams by earning his bachelor’s degree at 77 years old.

Timothy Brown has been a soldier in the Vietnam War, a bus driver for B.B. King, and now, he can call himself a graduate of South Carolina State University, local newspaper the Times and Democrat reported.

“It could be a lesson for maybe the next person to see how a 77-year-old can, you know, if I can do it, anybody can do it, trust me,” Brown told WLTX.

The 77-year-old was drafted at 20 years old in November of 1965 and served as “a truck driver with the U.S. Army 318 Engineer Unit stationed in Pleiku, the central highlands of Vietnam,” according to the Times and Democrat. Brown said a constant fear was the possibility of running over a landmine, as a friend of his had.

“One my buddies, he hit one, and of course, he lost his life,” Brown told the Times and Democrat. “The Lord fixed it where I just never hit one in all the 10 months I was driving a truck.”

He was discharged in November of 1967, just months before the base where he was stationed was targeted during the Tet Offensive, which began in late January 1968.

After returning stateside, Brown attended Compton Community College in Los Angeles but dropped out in 1972 as school was interfering with his work availability, according to the Times and Democrat.

Brown worked as a Greyhound Bus Driver for years and took great pride in making sure people got where they needed to be when they needed to be there.

The veteran even had the privilege of driving a bus for the late great Blues legend B.B. King.

“I just happened to be sitting there when the call came in,” Brown recalled while speaking with WLTX. “That’s how I met my wife, because had I not worked for King, I would’ve never ended up in New York to meet my wife.”

In 2018, Brown enrolled at South Carolina State University as a freshman, thanks in part to the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehab Program, which footed the bill for his education.

“The Lord, my wife, the faculty and staff aided me through the process,” Brown told the Times and Democrat.

He majored in drama and authored a play titled “Dr. King’s Last March on Washington,” which draws from his own experience at the march and could hit the stage as early as next year.

On May 6, the 77-year-old earned his college diploma.

“Like my wife said, ‘I finally finished something, and it feels good,’” he told WLTX.

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