SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Savannah police officer is on leave, serving in Afghanistan, but over the last seven months, she’s been spending all of her extra time hitting the books.
Corporal Shakema Deal is celebrating her graduation while on deployment.
The Savannah Police Department is Shakema’s home away from home. She says she has felt nothing but support from her brothers and sisters in blue.
Cpl. Deal has already dedicated most of her young life to serving others. She has spent six years in the National Guard, and more than two years at the Savannah PD. Her SPD officers are proud of her hard work in finishing her degree while in Afghanistan.
“She’s fantastic,” said Officer Phillip Spears, SPD, Southside Precinct. “We can’t wait to have her back and sacrificing the time she took not only being on mission where she is now, but she’s giving the extra time she does have to get that degree. It’s fantastic.”
Deal graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Administration of Criminal Justice. She says her fellow officers on deployment pulled together to give her a nice ceremony - a day she will truly never forget.
“It’s not typical that you have a graduation in Afghanistan, but it was very emotional,” she said. “I do wish my family could have been there, but my second family was with me. It really was something else. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Deal isn’t sure when her deployment will end, but she’s excited to return home by the end of the year and rejoin the Savannah PD.