- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - There was no cap and gown.

His fellow classmates weren’t around, and the ceremony was long overdue, according to the Times Herald https://bwne.ws/1FpeZ8p ).

At the age of 68, Fred Repp graduated from high school.

The Roseville man received his diploma from Memphis High School on Nov. 14 - about 50 years after he left high school in 1964 to enlist in the U.S. Army.

“I’ve been in the clouds since I did it,” Repp said, of receiving his diploma.

Repp approached Memphis High School after a program usually reserved for veterans of the Korean War and World War II was extended to include veterans of the Vietnam era.

Public Act 55 of 2014 was signed into law in May. It allows schools to award high school diplomas to honorably discharged veterans of the Vietnam War who can show proof of their service during that time.

State Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, worked on the legislation with former Rep. Holly Hughes.

Emmons said the legislation has a two-fold effect: It shows the value of education and appreciation for veterans.

“They deserve a diploma that they’ve earned in other ways other than the traditional way,” Emmons said. “It’s a way we can show gratitude and respect them.”

After spending most of his childhood bounced around foster homes and struggling with an undiagnosed learning disability, Repp said he left Memphis High School in the 11th grade at the age of 18.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany and the United States from 1964 to 1970.

Now retired, Repp said getting his diploma was a bucket list item for him.

“It wasn’t a dire necessity that I get it,” Repp said. “There’s no gain from it other than the satisfaction of knowing I got my diploma.”

When he went to pick up his diploma Nov. 14, the superintendent, a representative from the local American Legion post and four U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force recruiters waited to present him with his long-awaited certificate.

“It left me flabbergasted,” Repp said. “It was the last thing I expected.

“That’s one of the few times that I had a bunch of people congratulate me for my service.”

Debbie Roshak, dean of students at Memphis High School, worked with Repp to get his paperwork together. She also asked the military personnel to be on hand for Repp’s graduation.

Roshak, whose husband, Bradford Roshak, was a captain in the U.S. Army, said Repp’s graduation hit home.

“I know just a little bit of how much of a sacrifice it is to leave your family and serve your country,” Roshak said.

“A diploma is kind of something we take for granted, but to see he was still just as excited 50 years later was just awesome.”

Emmons said veterans of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War who left high school early to join the military can get a diploma by calling the high school they attended before leaving to serve.

___

Information from: Times Herald, https://www.thetimesherald.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide