Las Vegas, Nevada (KVVU) — The greatest generation just got a little better for a WWII Army Veteran living in Las Vegas.
The 94-year-old finally got to achieve a milestone he never thought would come.
About 78 years ago, Edward Hall missed out on getting his high school diploma because he left school to enlist in the United States Army. He was stationed in Hawaii when the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor.
He survived the war, but said of all of his accomplishments getting his diploma was one of the greatest and he hopes Valley students understand the importance of education.
“To the young people, the teenagers, and parents for goodness sakes,” Hall said. ”See that these young people get their education, it is the most valuable thing that they will ever obtain in their lives.”
The Pearl Harbor survivor came back to civilian life from war when he was about 22-years-old with dreams of going to college.
However, when he went back to his high school those dreams fizzled. He asked the school district and his principal if he could finish his high school diploma, he said the principal said he was too old and would be a distraction to other students.
That is why Operation Recognition exists. The program helps WWII veterans like Hall get their diplomas.
“The gratitude is unbelievable,” Charmian Mcelree said. “The families, they have their celebrations, one gentleman graduated with his grandchildren the same day, and so it just keeps getting better.”
Program officials contact the school on behalf of the veteran and fill out the necessary paperwork for the diplomas to be processed. Then the district verifies the information and mails the diploma.