WWII veteran receives long overdue high school diploma

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - 92-year-old Robert Schultz rose with his cane to a standing ovation to receive his high school diploma - class of 1944.

"I feel good," Robert said, adding with a chuckle, "it's about time."

In 1943, while he was in the eleventh grade, Robert became the first in his class to get drafted into World War II.

He served for two years in Europe, and hoped to get his diploma when he returned.

"They wouldn't give it to me," he says, "so I went out on my own, worked thirty years, made a living, and raised three kids."

But Robert always wanted his degree. When the family was planning to get together for his youngest grandson's graduation from a different school, another grandson, Todd, contacted the Brecksville school district.

This time, the current leadership in the school district scrambled to verify that Robert was in the school, and worked hard to make sure he received his diploma at the city's annual Memorial Day celebration.

Grandson Tyler Schultz received his a day earlier with his class, which led him to joke that his grandfather was "stealing my show. I mean, I just graduated, and he has to show me up."

On a serious note, Tyler added that it was amazing to think that his grandfather lived through history that he had studied in school, including the Battle of the Bulge.

Shortly after receiving his diploma, Robert looked satisfied.

"After 92 years," he said, "I finally got it."