For Jack Fletcher, high school graduation was about 70 years in the making.
The World War II veteran dropped out of school during his senior year to serve in the military. But last month, the 86-year-old made his way back to Texas to walk across the stage at Spur High School as an honorary graduate, KCBD reports.
Fletcher, who now lives in Australia, wasn't too sure the day would ever come.
"I had to look to make sure they put a certificate in there," Fletcher told KCBD. "I was afraid they were kidding me!"
With countless commencements occurring nationwide, perhaps it's no surprise that Fletcher isn't the only veteran to be awarded a diploma.
In 1944, Burton Noe dropped out of his Wyoming high school to join the Navy, the Caspar Star-Tribune reports.
The World War II vet earned his GED in the 1950s, but he always longed for a high school diploma. And on May 24, the 85-year-old finally got one.
"I just think this is the most wonderful thing to happen to me," Noe told the Associated Press.
Veteran Carlos E. Gonzalez also earned his diploma from Conestoga Valley High School in Pennsylvania last month, WPMT reports. The 87-year-old dropped out at age 18 to join the Army, where he served a combat medic during World War II.
Still, no matter where these veterans served during the war, their attitudes regarding education seem to be the same.
And perhaps World War II veteran Michael Zone said it best.
"Without an education, you're lost. Life is a hell of a lot more interesting with an education," the 90-year-old recent graduatetold the Las Vegas Sun last year.