After more than seven decades of waiting, World War II veteran Rev. Abe Simon finally graduated high school.
A Texas native, Simon was drafted in the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday, just before he was set to graduate from Orangefield High School. His academic plans had to be put on hold to serve his country, and he was never quite able to go back and complete his schooling. He eventually ended up settling in Richmond, Va., with his wife and kids, and become a pastor at Clover Hill Baptist Church.
Seventy-two years later, Simon headed back to his hometown for a quick visit and decided to pop into his old high school, where he asked the receptionist for a copy of his grades. She asked him when he graduated.
“Honey, I didn’t,” he responded.
Here’s what happened next, according to Richmond’s NBC12:
The secretary told Simon to come back. An hour later, she gave him more than a copy of his grades.
“So I came back. They had the marching band, and they had the high school in the gym. They had my cap and gown and my diploma,” Simon said.
Apparently, Texas state law allows WWII veterans who left high school before they could graduate in order to serve their country to obtain a diploma. Both Simon and his 96-year old brother, who also joined the military before he could complete high school, will now receive their long-awaited high school degrees.
What’s more, Simon has been invited to walk in the graduation ceremony with the Class of 2017, where he will deliver the commencement address.
It may be coming a little late, but it's a fitting response for a man who has already given so much for his country. And it's story you just have to watch for yourself: