Decades after leaving high school to serve their country, six veterans in California are finally getting their diplomas. The vets dropped out to serve in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, putting their country before finishing their education.
“This is just a small way in which we can show our appreciation for the service and sacrifice you made to ensure the safety of a great nation,” San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre said during the special graduation ceremony.
Willie Thomas, one of the vets who left to enlist in the Vietnam war, says he planned to continue his education when he returned. But when he’d sign up for a GED class, he’d get orders to go somewhere else. So he’s happy to be honored with his diploma after all these years. “To me it’s a blessing,” he says. “Even at my age, it’s a blessing.”