Graduation Diplomas Late, But Welcome

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vietnam War Veteran Hank Davis was an 18 year old McClatchy High School student in 1965 when he joined the Marines. He signed up on the anniversary of President John Kennedy’s assassination. 

"In commemorance of him. I really liked him, I liked his speeches."

Now 60-years old, Davis says he wishes he had a diploma. 

"I felt that something’s been missing out of my life - that I wasn’t able to attend a graduation after going to see my daughters graduate from high school." 

Wednesday night, the Sacramento County Office of Education will award diplomas retroactively to Davis and 9 other veterans and Japanese Americans who didn’t finish high school because of war. Spokesman Tim Herrera says they call it “Operation Recognition”. 

"It’s a big celebration because it’s a great accomplishment for a lot of folks. It’s that one thing in their life that a lot of them wish they could have completed but circumstances didn’t allow."

For Vietnam vet Hank Davis it’s almost like being a teenager again. 

"I know I’m going to end up with goosebumps, matter of fact I’ve got a little anxiety in me now anticipating."