Navy pilot earns degree in combat zone

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By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Navy Lt. Thomas Sanez says he needed armed guards and an armored car to take his finals.

Saenz has earned a master's degree in engineering from the University of Southern California while commanding a top security team in Afghanistan. His class graduates Friday.

The 33-year-old father of two is joining a growing number of military members earning college degrees online while serving in a war zone.

The Obama administration is pushing universities to find creative ways to help as it tracks the success of its post 9/11 GI Bill.

Saenz says a deadly bomb attack caused him to miss class once, and getting to finals meant traveling on a dangerous road in Kabul to a university approved testing site.

He has persevered and is job hunting as he prepares to leave the service in June.

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