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WWII veteran receives high school diploma 71 years after getting drafted

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ORANGEFIELD, Texas — An 89-year-old World War II veteran received an amazing surprise Friday when he acquired his high school diploma and was given an impromptu graduation ceremony 71 years after he was drafted.

Abner Simon was drafted in 1945 and left several months before his commencement ceremony, according to KBMT. When he got back, he went on to get a GED and a college degree.

On Friday, Simon went by Orangefield Independent School District in Texas to get a copy of his transcript, and when he did, officials explained that he was actually registered as a graduate in 1945.

When superintendent Dr. Stephen Patterson heard about Simon’s situation, he got the school board to sign his diploma and set up a surprise ceremony for the veteran.

Simon, who is officially a part of the 2017 graduating class, was able to wear an orange cap and gown to signify the triumph moment.

He was also invited to come speak at the school’s 2017 graduation.