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74-year-old military veteran earns master's degree

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 21:54:36-04

Army veteran Tae Chong will graduate this weekend with a master's degree from Arizona State University.

Chong, 74, has been part of the school's Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program since 2019.

"You know, sometimes they ask me, because I'm so active, how old am I," Chong said. "But I didn't say anything."

Chong lost his father during the Korean War and moved to the U.S. in his 20's.

Chong told ABC15 that he struggled to learn English but learned a lot while serving in the Army.

After the military, Chong went to ASU to get an undergraduate degree in accounting.

He would later go on to work for several private companies and the post office.

After retiring, Chong wanted to go back to school so he could teach others English.

Chong grew up speaking Korean and said he knows firsthand what it's like to learn another language.

"It was hard for me to study English and I almost went back to Korea but I decided I was going to succeed," he said.

According to ASU, there are 10,500 military-related students enrolled in the school. More than 800 will be graduating this weekend.

Chong told ABC15 he looks forward to using his master's degree to teach others English. He said he plans on volunteering or working as a teacher or tutor.

"I'll probably have a part-time job," he said. "Because I have a pension now, I don't need that kind of stress job. I need to enjoy my life and also give help to other people so that is my plan."