World War II Veteran Gets High School Diploma 67 Years Later

World War II Veteran Hilberto Rodriguez Gets High School Diploma 67 Years Later

Hilberto Rodriguez graduated from Garfield High School in Los Angeles this week -- a mere 67 years late.

Rodriguez, 86, was meant to graduate in the class of 1944, KABC reported. But history intervened in the shape of World War II.

Instead of worrying about exams and chasing girls like the other high school guys, Rodriguez enlisted and went to fight in the South Pacific.

"My brothers joined, so that's why I joined," Rodriguez told KNBC.

Now, Rodriguez can finally say he is both a veteran and a high school grad.

Jorge Rodriguez, Hilberto's son, said his dad always regretted not having graduated. So Jorge Rodriguez worked with Los Angeles Unified School District to arrange the graduation.

The school district agreed, even bringing in a band and cheerleaders to celebrate the war veteran.

"I brought back one of your own, and one of your proudest Garfield Bulldogs, my dad," Jorge Rodriguez said, according to KABC.

In front of a packed gymnasium, Hilberto Rodriguez overcame his great regret, dressed in a graduate's full cap and gown.

When asked what he remembered most about his school days, he told KNBC: "Mostly the teacher giving me a rough time."

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