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95-Year-Old Veteran Finally Gets High School Diploma 77 Years after Dropping Out to Fight in WWII

Bettina Dizon
Nov 14, 2021
05:00 P.M.

World War II veteran Louis Picariello left to join the Marines a few months before his high school graduation. Decades later, he was able to claim his diploma.

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Graduating from high school is a milestone a person will never forget. Unfortunately, Louis Picariello was robbed of that chance decades ago.

After turning 18 years old in 1944, Picariello decided to join the Marines. It was months before his high school graduation when he left Needham High.

Louis Picariello, 95, finally gets his high school diploma. | Source: twitter.com/NPS_Supt

Louis Picariello, 95, finally gets his high school diploma. | Source: twitter.com/NPS_Supt

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Soon after serving in the Marines, Picariello worked as a heavy equipment operator and had his own family, becoming a father of three, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of five.

While living every day to the fullest, Picariello was never able to receive his high school diploma -- until he turned 95 years old.

Recently, Picariello’s friends reached out to Needham Public Schools to make the World War II veteran’s bucket list item come true. They asked if getting his diploma would be feasible, to which they agreed.

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On the 246th foundation day of the Marine Corps and a day before Veteran’s Day, Picariello attended a special moving ceremony in his high school, where he received his high school diploma.

Veterans have sacrificed many things to serve the country, and sometimes, it means giving up what they love most and risking their lives.

According to Superintendent Daniel Gutekanst, he was honored to present Picariello his diploma 77 years after he was supposed to graduate.

Louis Picariello, 95, finally gets his high school diploma. | Source: YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Louis Picariello, 95, finally gets his high school diploma. | Source: YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Boston

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“We can present you with a lifetime learning diploma,” he said. “Representing not only your time at Needham High School, but a life well lived with an amazing family and, obviously, so many friends and colleagues.”

Picariello was undoubtedly touched and emotional during the ceremony. He couldn’t believe that he finally had a diploma and was grateful that people went the extra mile for him to have it.

Now with a diploma, Picarello plans to frame it and keep it within sight every day. His family and friends were proud of Picariello for his achievement.

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Veterans have sacrificed many things to serve the country, and sometimes, it means giving up what they love most and risking their lives.

Sadly, not all veterans lived their lives to the fullest after being in service. However, Utah army veteran Joseph Dave Jaramillo was one of the lucky ones who achieved his dream at 90 years old.

Jaramillo had always dreamed of skydiving but never got the chance to do it. When his 90th birthday came along, his lifelong wish was fulfilled.

The experience was nothing short of amazing for the veteran who vowed to take a second leap before turning 95. Hopefully, he gets to fulfill his second skydive.

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