4 veterans receive high school diplomas almost 70 years after leaving to join military

These ‘super seniors’ definitely deserved it – congrats!

A diploma can symbolize so much to a person. But sometimes, if you have one, it’s hard to be grateful for it.

In contrast, veterans make a lot of sacrifices when they enlist in the military But sometimes, there are ways to make up for those lost life experiences.

In 1956, 4 young men from Springdale High School had to miss their high school graduation.
Air Force Veteran Carl Stults, Army Veteran Bobby Burke, Air Force Veteran Charles Leroy Moon, and Air Force Veteran Bob Self were all students at Springdale once upon a time.

But by the time of their senior year, they had already decided that they were going to go far away from their hometown.

They enrolled in the military. They took GED tests before graduation to enlist, and then they jetted off to far away places before they could walk and shake hands with their principal.

They began careers in the military, but they always felt like something was missing.

Moon, Burke, Self, and Stults all had the chance to travel to places for work that they otherwise would not have been able to.

They went to countries like the Philippines and Hong Kong, and learned so much about the world.

But they never forgot their roots, and eventually, they all returned home to Springdale, Arkansas.

There, they continued to live their lives, but they still never got their diplomas.

Now in retirement, the four men get together at a cafe in their hometown.

That’s where some present-day Springdale High School teachers first met them.

At the Wagon Wheel Cafe, the four veterans were getting together, when they ran into a group of Springdale teachers.

After talking about their lives for a bit, the teachers realized that the veterans had given up walking the stage at graduation and receiving their diplomas in order to go serve in the army.

At that fateful meeting, the teachers hatched a plan that they hoped would brighten the men’s days.
As a surprise to the graduating seniors, the educators and administrators of the school decided to invite the veterans to participate in the upcoming Springdale High School graduation ceremony. They would finally get their diplomas as ‘super seniors.’

The teachers also hoped that this would be a valuable learning experience for the current students at the school.

During their graduation, they would get a strong reminder of how important an education is, and how graduation day follows you for the rest of your life. The veterans were good role models.

After 70 years, these men who dropped everything to enlist in the army finally got a graduation ceremony.

At the ceremony, they were treated like special guests. While introducing them, school officials listed their accomplishments in life.

They have all led amazing lives and found their own successes. One owned a poultry store, and one even raised racehorses.

Can you imagine going 70 years without your diploma and then finally receiving it?

After such a long wait, the payoff must have been that much sweeter.

It seems like this special graduation was an important moment for both the young students and the older men alike.

Watch the video below to learn more about this heartwarming story!
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