US veterans of World War Two receive high school diplomas


US veterans who fought in World War Two are being awarded with their High School Diplomas, more than 70 years after leaving school.

William Tini left high school early in 1942 so that he could join the war effort and fight with the US Army in Europe. Because of that decision he never graduated from high school and didn’t return to education after the war had finished.

William, who is now 89 years old, was awarded his High School Diploma from the Panther Valley High School at a specially-organised board meeting. The school said that it wanted to honour local resident, William, for his sacrifice and actions during the war.

William says he never thought he’d get his High School Diploma in his life time, but now he has it he says he is so pleased to have received it.

William had been attending the high school in the early 1940s, which was then known as Coaldale High School. But at the age of 17 decided to leave and join the army like a lot of teenagers during the war years.

William served for four years in the army and so never formally graduated from high school.

The diploma for veterans is part of a nationwide initiative in the US to honour those servicemen who gave up their education to serve during World War Two and is called Operation Recognition.

William’s family said that he has always felt that something had been missing in his life since he never finished school. So now William and his entire family are ecstatic.

As part of William’s graduation ceremony junior cadets performed a full colour guard salute. The cadets said that it was an honour to take part in William’s ceremony, the reports.

William will turn 90 this year.

Operation Recognition is being rolled-out across the US so that veterans of World War Two, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars, can receive their high school diplomas. Even veterans who are deceased are able to gain their diplomas post-humously should the family wish to apply.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE