It’s taken Paul Mackey a little longer than most to get his high school diploma, but he finally did it. The 84-year-old just received his from the Texarkana Texas School District, 65 years later.
Mackey was set to graduate from high school back in 1954, but he dropped out to became a Marine and fight for America in the Korean War. While he was serving his country, he did get his GED and attend college, but getting his diploma was important to him and his wife, Anne, a retired educator. “It is an honor to me as an educator that he went back and accomplished this.”
The Texas Education Code allows school districts to give diplomas to honorably discharged veterans who served in World War II, the Korean or Vietnam Wars, like Mackey if they come back to school and take their tests again.
The vet says he was very surprised to receive it after all these years and he has some advice for today’s youngsters. “You kids out there who can see this - be smart. Be smart and go to school and stay in school. War or whatever will wait a year for you to graduate".