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Veterans, 95 and 85, Left in Wartime and Returned for Diplomas

By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2019 3:03 PM CDT
Veterans of World War II and the Korean War walked the stage Saturday with this year's high school graduates.   (Getty/SchulteProductions)

(Newser) – Two veterans who left high school early for the military in wartime joined the Class of 2019 in walking the stage Saturday to receive their diplomas, CNN reports. Joe Perricone, 95, was drafted in 1943 while in high school in Tampa. The Army veteran was honored at Hillsborough High School's graduation by this year's graduates. Bill William Arnold Craddock, 85, a Korean War veteran, left high school in Churchill, Tennessee, at 16 to join the Air Force. He received a GED but didn't ever walk a graduation stage. "It means a lot to me," Craddock said. His advice for Volunteer High School graduates, including those of the Class of 1953: "Study hard, be good, and learn all you can. Get the best education you can get." (Read more military veterans stories.)

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