Veteran receives high school diploma on his 99th birthday

  • A veteran received his high school diploma after 81 years as a gift on his 99th birthday
  • John Quinlan Jr., a war veteran, left school to pursue a full-time job
  • Since there is a law that allows veterans to receive their original diploma, John was finally able to get hold of his before he turns 100

A veteran received his high school diploma from 81 years ago on his 99th birthday.

Good Morning America shared that John Quinlan Jr. had to leave school on the month of his graduation after he was offered a local shipyard job.

Screenshot image from WCVB via YouTube

“He was offered a full-time job building ships for the Department of Defense and it was too good a job to give up,” Jodi Purdy Quinlan, John’s daughter-in-law, said. However, the school – now known as Weymouth High School – told him he had to leave if he really wanted to pursue the full-time work.

John, who also served during World War II, chose the employment opportunity.

But since almost everyone in the family, including John’s late wife, his four children, and even grandchildren, studied in that same school, Jodi had an idea. When one of her father-in-law’s grand kids graduated, she talked to the school officials so she can surprise John on his birthday.

Screenshot image from WCVB via YouTube

Good Morning America said school officials were able to track down John’s attendance. Since there is a law that allows veterans who withdrew from their school to serve in the military during World War II, he was allowed to receive his diploma signed by the then-principal and superintendent.

“We are so proud of our veterans and we felt as though it was really important to be able to honor him and to present him with a diploma that was well-deserved. We were very happy to be able to make that happen for him,” Weymouth Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple said in an interview with GMA.

Jodi said John giggled when he saw his diploma. “His reaction has been great,” she said. Priceless, if we may say so!

Sources: Good Morning America, WCVB Channel