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90-year-old WWII Veteran Gets High School Degree 71 Years Later

Graduation cap on a book next to a degree.

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — A 90-year-old World War II veteran has received his high school diploma more than 70 years after he left the New Jersey school to enlist in the Navy.

Luke Walsh had been a sophomore at Montclair Immaculate Conception High School in 1943 when he enlisted to fight in World War II.

Walsh worked on a landing boat, laying smoke screens and searching for bombs in the water.

When he returned home in 1946, priests told Walsh he was too old to finish his schooling. He says he eventually graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1950 — the "only place" that would give him a diploma.

Walsh, who says he's always wanted to complete his catholic school education, was given an honorary degree from the Catholic school on Thursday.

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