As national newscasters are buzzing with the details of troop withdrawals from Iraq, December criminal justice graduate and Iraq War veteran William Fettig remembers where he was at the beginning of the war and looks ahead toward his future.
Before he joined the U.S. Army, Fettig lived with his parents and worked a variety of short term jobs.
“After I signed up, I was among the first to arrive in Iraq in field artillery, then I went on road patrols and later I became an MP,” Fettig said, as he described his eight months in Iraq. “My dream is to become a U.S. Marshal.”
According to the U.S. Marshals Service website, “More than 3,950 deputy U.S. marshals and criminal investigators form the backbone of the agency. Among their many duties, they protect the federal judiciary, apprehend federal fugitives, seize property acquired by criminals through illegal activities, house and transport federal prisoners and operate the Witness Security Program.”
During his four years of active duty from 2001-2005, Fettig admired this law enforcement agency.
“They are very professional, and they are known for their teamwork,” the Jackson, Tennessee, native explained.
At 34 years old, Fettig has two years to pursue his dream. A U.S. Marshal must be appointed by his or her 37th birthday, but because the background check is exhaustive, the cut-off for admittance is age 36 years.
While Fettig worked at the Salvation Army on McCallie Avenue across from the UTC campus, he pursued his undergraduate degree in criminal justice. His plan is to take a semester off, and then begin graduate classes in criminal justice.
He has another intriguing goal, which he says is in the “baby stages” but gaining momentum.
Prisoners who have been behind bars since the turn of the century are returning to a society completely foreign to them, Fettig observed. Some do not have their GED, some have never used a computer, others are weak on math skills. Many are unable to even apply for jobs, since applications must often been completed online.
“I want to try and coordinate a service for them with the help of UTC students who could volunteer to teach reading, math and computer skills,” Fettig said. “It’s hard enough for a civilian to get a job today, imagine trying to get a job if you are labeled as a criminal.”