(AP) – A Navy veteran who left school 70 years ago to fight in World War II received his high school diploma in a special ceremony.
The TimesDaily reports 89-year-old James Dalton McDaniel received his diploma from Central High School Wednesday during the school’s senior awards day program. Family and school officials arranged the surprise ceremony.
McDaniel had to leave Central during his senior year in 1945 when he was drafted into the Navy for the war. McDaniel’s son, Donnie, says when his father returned, school had changed so much he couldn’t complete his education, but he insisted his children graduate. Donnie says the entire family ended up graduating from Central.
McDaniel says he plans to keep his diploma in his bedroom, next to his bed.