Veterans receive high school diplomas after decades of waiting - WNEM TV 5

Veterans receive high school diplomas after decades of waiting

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

"I wanted to go help my country and I felt I could always come back home and get my education later."

Nearly 50 years after quitting high school and volunteering to serve in the Vietnam War, Carl Lehr finally got that education

Lehr is one of five veterans who received honorary high school diplomas tonight in Saginaw, and it's been a long time coming.

"Now society has turned around and thanked us for our service," Lehr said.

John Bardoni has been waiting even longer. He volunteered to join the Coast Guard during the Korean War in 1955.

"Good feeling. Long time waiting," Bardoni said.

School board Vice President Herbert Herd said it was time to give these men the recognition they deserve.

"It means we are on board with the rest of the county in appreciating what our veterans have done," Herd said.

Despite the challenges of war and waiting decades to get his diploma, Lehr said he would do it all over again

"Freedom is not free,” Lehr said. “And I hope the younger generation follows in out footsteps."

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