WWII Veteran Finally Gets His HS Diploma 70 Years After Dropping Out to Fight in War
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
After 70 years of waiting, a 90-year-old World War II veteran is finally getting his high school diploma.
George Fricovsky, Sr., who is now 90 years old, left high school when he was 17 in 1944 to go fight in World War II. Because of the war, he never got the chance to finish high school and never received his diploma.
Fricovsky was invited to a school board meeting in Taylor, Pennsylvania on Tuesday thinking he was there to just lead the Pledge of Allegiance. However, after reciting the pledge, Fricovsky was presented with a diploma from his grandson, David Walsh, who is also the vice principal of Riverside Junior-Senior High School in Taylor.
“Pop was in tears, straight tears,” Walsh shared with ABC News. “It was something that he’s always wanted, something he always deserved.”
Fricovsky, who fought in France, was wounded by a hand grenade during the war.
“After getting hit, he laid in pain for 11 hours before he was finally taken to a hospital,” Walsh explained. “After that, he was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart.”
Fricovsky was able to provide a strong and stable life for his family regardless of the fact that he never finished high school. However, he still felt like something was missing after all of these years.
“Over the years, my grandfather would occasionally mention feeling unaccomplished because he never got to get his diploma,” Walsh shared. “It was always a passing conversation, but graduation season this past May triggered something in me to approach the school board and do something about it.”
Because of timing and completed logistics, Fricovsky wasn’t able to attend the graduation ceremony in May. However, different plans were made over the summer in order to get Fricovsky his diploma.
“I’m just so happy we were able to do this for him,” Walsh said. “He’s an amazing grandfather who’s always looking to get a smile out of somebody. He’s worked hard for everything he’s got, and he deserved this piece of paper.”