WILLSBORO (AP) - Eighty-six-year-old Ed Collins finally has his high school diploma, decades after leaving school to serve in the Navy during World War II.
Collins wore a bright red cap and gown and fought back tears Wednesday as he received his diploma during a surprise ceremony at Willsboro Central School in the eastern Adirondacks. The Press-Republican of Plattsburgh reports that he was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked down the aisle.
He was eligible for the diploma under Operation Recognition, a state law that recognizes "the dedication and sacrifice" of veterans who left school before graduation.
Collins was trained for amphibious landings and served in New Guinea, the Philippines and Okinawa.