Vietnam Vet Finally Gets His High School Diploma

Vietnam vet who left high school to join the Navy gets his diploma 56 years later under a state program that allows servicemen and women whose service interfered with their education to get their degrees.

It took 56 years, but James Neal is finally a member of the North Allegheny High School Class of 1962. Mr. Neal was presented his high school diploma by Superintendent Dr. Robert Scherrer at the North Allegheny School Board meeting on November 14th.

According to a school district release, Mr. Neal was 17 when he withdrew from the senior high school in 1961 to enlist in the U.S. Navy. After boot camp, Mr. Neal was assigned to the USS Wiltsie DD716, a destroyer stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1965 as a Machinist Mate 3rd Class.

Mr. Neal's diploma was awarded under Operation Recognition, a state law that authorizes school districts to grant a high school diploma to any honorably discharged veteran who served in the United States Military during World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam War and whose military service interfered with their high school education.

While Mr. Neal did earn his GED in the Navy, receiving his diploma was certainly worth waiting for!

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