Everyday Heroes

This Veteran Receives His Diploma 70 Years After He Had To Leave School To Fight In WWII

Over 70 years later, this surprise gift means the world to this veteran.

Accepting your high school diploma is a special moment, whether you’re 18 years old or 90. A World War II veteran just received his, more than 70 years after he had to leave school in 1944 to fight in the war. And as you might have guessed, it made his day.

According to ABC News, George Fricovsky, Sr. was under the impression that he was going to be leading the Pledge of Allegiance for Riverside Junior-Senior High School in Pennsylvania. Little did he know, the day was about to take on a lot more meaning.

Thanks to his grandson David Walsh, the vice principal at the school, Fricovsky was at long last granted the diploma he never received because he was busy serving our country. After being wounded by a hand grenade during WWII, he was honorably discharged and given a Purple Heart in 1945. Once he returned home, he never went back to high school.

“Over the years, my grandfather would occasionally mention feeling unaccomplished because he never got to get his diploma,” Walsh told ABC News. “It was always a passing conversation, but graduation season this past May triggered something in me to approach the school board and do something about it.”

He may not have had the cap and gown, and didn’t walk in a ceremony, but he was finally given the piece of paper he’d always wanted.

“Pop was in tears, straight tears,” Walsh told ABC News. “It was something that he’s always wanted, something he always deserved.”

No doubt this war veteran’s military service and 90 years of life experience provided him with some serious learning opportunities along the way. We have no doubt this diploma was well-deserved and a fitting thank you to Fricovsky for his service.

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“I’m just so happy we were able to do this for him,” Walsh said. “He’s an amazing grandfather who’s always looking to get a smile out of somebody. He’s worked hard for everything he’s got, and he deserved this piece of paper.”

[h/t: ABC News]