90-year-old gets high school diploma 71 years after dropping out to serve in World War II

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 90-year-old man finally has his high school diploma several decades after he dropped out to serve in World War II, according to WFTV.

Jack Koolik graduated from Darnell Cookman High School in Jacksonville on Monday evening.

Seventy-one years ago, Koolik dropped out of high school in New York to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 2013, Florida legislature made it possible for people like Koolik to get their diplomas if they left school to join the military and were honorably discharged.

Koolik’s daughter presented him with his diploma. She was the one who encouraged him to pursue his diploma when she heard about the legislation.

“It’s like a dream world,” Koolik said shortly after receiving his diploma. “I can’t believe I’m up on the stage.”


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