Vietnam Veteran Gets Diploma Nearly 50 Years After Leaving High School

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ILLINOIS (WQAD) – Almost 50 years after leaving Rock Island High School in Illinois, a veteran finally walked down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance” in a cap and gown to receive his high school diploma, according to affiliate station WQAD-TV 8.

Thomas Hickson was 17 when he left the school in 1966. He joined the U.S. Navy in order to help support his family, served in the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in 1972, WQAD reported.

He earned his GED in the Navy, went to college and eventually became a police chief. Still, he said something was missing, according to WQAD.

“I never had this. And don’t you ever think you won’t miss it, because you will,” said Hickson.

On Dec. 9, the Rock Island-Milan School Board presented Hickson with his 1968 high school diploma, WQAD reported.

To view the original story on our affiliate station’s website WQAD – Channel 8, click here. 

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