Local military couple graduates college together

SAN DIEGO – A local sailor and his wife are celebrating a milestone in their marriage. The couple graduated together from college this weekend.

Shelly and Salvador Villa both graduated on May 11 with degrees in criminal justice from Southern New Hampshire University. Shelly graduated with her bachelor’s and Sal with an associate. Salvador will continue in the fall to obtain his bachelor’s.

“To graduate together, it’s probably one of the best days of my life,” said Shelly.

Shelly’s dad, who was a police officer, always wanted his kids to go to school.  After his passing, she decided to enroll online and received a scholarship from Operation Homefront.

Salvador, who has gone through four deployments with the U.S. Navy also completed his courses online.  While it was challenging especially during his deployments, Salvador said it was much easier than attending classes on-campus.

The couple’s four daughters, ages 10-months to 14 years-old, attended the commencement ceremony.

“I just want to show my kids it can take you a long time but if you put your heart to it, you can accomplish it,” said Salvador.

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