WWII Veteran Surprised With High School Diploma After 70 Years

NORTHUMBERLAND, ENGLAND – Just one day after D-Day’s Anniversary, a World War II veteran is celebrating a huge milestone in his life.

Veteran Elmer Shinskie was drafted into World War II before he could graduate high school. This year, he’s finally receiving his high-school diploma…nearly 70 years later.

The 92-year-old was handed his diploma on stage in front of family and friends with a standing ovation in Shamokin Area High School’s auditorium. It’s the same school Elmer attended until 10th grade, when he was drafted in 1943 and sent overseas.

“…He always talked about [wanting to graduate],” said Elmer’s wife, Esther, “He always said maybe he’d go back to school, but with working, he didn’t have the time to go back to school.”

“It’s something that I never thought I’d ever see,” Elmer said.

Elmer’s two daughters and their families were there to support their father, too, and they’re extremely proud of him.

The diploma is part of the Operation Recognition program. It’s a program which allows High Schools to grant diplomas to World War II veterans.

Shinksie’s grandson, Jarrod Scandle, a veteran of the Marines, was also there to see his grandfather receive his diploma.

Shinskie says he already knows where he’s going to hang up his diploma for display.

“I’m very proud. I know he’s wanted this for very long time. I’m just glad he was able to do this.” – Barbara Treese, Elmer’s daughter.

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