Just one day after the anniversary of D-Day, a World War II veteran in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania made another major milestone—92-year-old Elmer Shinskie finally graduated high school 70 years after he started.

Shinskie left 10th grade when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. But thanks to the Operation Recognition program, Shamokin Area High School was able to grant him his diploma.


“It is my sincere privilege to welcome Elmer Shinskie,” said Shamokin Area High School Principal Chris Venna. “He is here as part of the Operation Recognition Program, which allows school districts to grant high school diplomas to eligible, honorable discharged veterans who served in the United States military during World War II.”

His daughter, Barbara Treese, says he’s wanted it for a very long time, and his wife, Esther, says he’s always talked about going back to school to get it. Both his daughters brought their families along to watch him graduate, and the entire crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Shinskie says he already has a place in mind of where he wants to hang his newly earned diploma in his home.