97-year-old gets diploma 8 decades later

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — It took nearly eight decades, but Frederick Gray is finally a high school graduate.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that the 97-year-old World War II veteran was presented Monday with a diploma from Watertown High School during a ceremony at his northern New York home.

Gray was set to graduate in 1934 but dropped out a year early to get a job to help support his family during the Great Depression.

Gray worked in a factory before being drafted into the Army in 1942. He served in the 24th Infantry Division in the Pacific campaign, earning a Bronze Star.

After the war, he returned to his job and retired as head of the company’s billing department.

Gray says he never expected to get a diploma and is “dumbfounded by the thoughtfulness.”

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