World War II Veteran to Receive High School Diploma After 72 Years
A former Marine in Oklahoma had a pretty cool Memorial Day weekend. Bill Larkin is 90 years old, and lives outside Tulsa. In 1943, he was a month from graduating high school when he dropped out to fight in World War Two.
At that point he was 17, which wasn't technically old enough to enlist. But he was 6-foot-4, so they decided he wasn't your average 17-year-old. He ended up serving in Guam and Iwo Jima as a tank driver.
After he made it home, he looked into getting his high school diploma. They told him he'd have to enroll for a full semester, just to take one history class. He decided it wasn't worth it and got a job as a truck driver. Then he worked as a supervisor for a construction company until he retired a while back.
He never got his diploma though, until last Thursday, when his high school gave it to him at their commencement ceremony, 72 years after he was supposed to graduate. Bill says a high school diploma probably won't be all that useful for him at this point, but he's grateful to have it anyway.
He just doesn't want anyone to say he deserves it because he's a hero. He says the only heroes he knows are the guys who didn't come home.