Vietnam Veteran Finally Receives High School Diploma

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - David Carney is a Vietnam veteran, and now, a high school graduate.

Graduating high school is a stepping stone for many. A high school diploma is a symbol of success, and a vital part of continuing education.

But for Carney, it was a missing part, until Thursday night at the Knights of Columbus meeting.

"I don't think anyone, anywhere knows that I'm a high school drop out, " said Carney hours before he received his official diploma.

Two associate degrees, one bachelors degree and a MBA later, David Carney is still filling an educational hole.

Carney was a so-called military brat. It was his excuse, he says, to give up on his education early on.

"We moved to a different place, another state again. And that was really old to me. I guess I was rebellious," says Carney.

Not too rebellious, though. Carney found a home in the military serving his country. First the Army from 1962 to 1970 and then 16 years in the Alabama National Guard.

But, he's home now... and something is missing.

"Hey David, would you like your high school diploma?" said Mary Scott Hunter, a member of the Alabama State Board of Education.

"I said yeah, what are you talking about?" Carney said.  "She said, well I'll make it happen, and she did."

Hunter helped Carney take a life step.

"If we could find veterans of Vietnam, Korea or World War II who did not receive their diploma and left to go to war and fight for America before they were awarded their diploma, we'd like to present it to them," Hunter said at Carney's Thursday night ceremony.

Carney officially graduated high school Thursday night. He took a step back to take a step forward.

"I guess tonight I'm able to make up for what didn't happen over 50 years ago," said Carney.  "It's like a little niche -- a little hole cut in my life -- and all of a sudden it's all coming back together."

It's a piece of paper that will hang high on his wall with honor.

Hunter urges any veteran who did not have an official graduation to contact her.  The phone number is 1-888-531-1312.


  • Skillpot

    Hmmm! Well, this is a good thing for David, but, let me toot my horn just a little! I left school, joined the military in 1952, went to Korea, then completed my two years, and some place in between got my GED, using it to enter college! Then, made a bad mistake, joined up for another six years. Then decided to go to college, and did, (using the Alabama GI Bill) going on to earn my four-year degree, in three with two children, and one on the way! And, I did not attend one of the CRIP colleges we have in the State! Guess what, I did not get a semester/quarter credit for my eight years of service! Wonder why?

    • Skillpot

      And, just think, as I entered college in 1960, there were students trying to get in who had graduated from Huntsville High (at that time HHS was ranked number one in the State), but could not get in! Go figure, and compare the problems with schools today!

  • Bill

    Better late than never. Great job!!!! Now if we can only get him to retire the Uncle Sam hat. Please wear a Vietnam Veterans Hat.

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