Korean War veteran receives diploma after 63 years

Posted at 7:53 AM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 09:12:21-05

A Korean War Veteran can add high school graduate to his list of life achievements thanks to his community.

In 1955, Gene Johnson, age 82, was called to join the Korean War as a senior in high school.

While the war was ending, Johnson was stationed at England Air Force base as an Air Police officer and helped soldiers who were returning home.

"They told us, if we went in and passed the GED test we would get our diploma. A lot of people got it but somehow I was passed over for whatever reason," he said. 

Time passed and the promise of receiving his diploma was never fulfilled. 

When Pastor Tom Haddon of Northfield Church and Tennessee State Senator Ferrell Haile heard what happened contacted the Sumner County officials. 

On Sunday, Johnson received his Hendersonville High School diploma during a church service and a 63-year-old dream was fulfilled.

"It always made me feel kind of funny because I did all the right things and I didn't get it. It just fills my heart. I wasn't expecting all this, I just wasn't," he said.

Officials were able to backdate Johnson's diploma to officially make him a graduate of the class of 1955.