War Vets Without Diplomas Have Less Than One Month to Apply for Certificate

Close up of a graduation diploma

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Veterans of foreign wars who didn't graduate from high school have until Oct. 15 to apply for graduation certificates issued through a Riverside County program that awards diplomas to former airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines who gave up school to serve their country.

The county Office of Education this year will conduct its 13th ``Operation Recognition'' program for the benefit of veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars. The ceremony is scheduled for the afternoon of Nov. 12 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

Under the program, vets are eligible to receive certificates even though they never finished school.

Office of Education officials began accepting applications two months ago and set a deadline of Oct. 15 for the submission of filings for certificates and to attend this year's graduation.

Superintendent of Schools Judy White said that 354 veterans from Riverside County have received diplomas under Operation Recognition since the program was initiated in 2007. Some of the recipients have been more than 90 years old.

Operation Recognition is based on California Education Code 51440, which permits the retroactive granting of graduation certificates to honorably discharged or retired veterans who served while the country was on a war footing. All they have to do is sign up.

Forms can be downloaded at www.rcoe.us/operationrecognition, or requested via phone through Tracey Case at 951-826-6570.

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