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Hampton High School is helping war veterans get diplomas

| Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, 1:36 p.m.
Eligible veterans of WWII, the Korean Conflict or Vietnam will be welcome to participate in graduation at Hampton High School.
Eligible veterans of WWII, the Korean Conflict or Vietnam will be welcome to participate in graduation at Hampton High School.

Veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflict or Vietnam, who did not have a chance to get their high school diploma while serving our country, can now obtain it through the Hampton Township School District.

Dr. Michael Loughead, superintendent of the district, made the announcement during his report at the Nov. 13 school board meeting. This program is made possible through Operation Recognition, as approved by Pennsylvania legislature under Act 14 of 1949, according to the details provided by the school district.

Operation Recognition allows school boards to grant diplomas to veterans who were deployed to fight in a war and missed their graduation. This gives them a second chance to get their diploma.

Requirements include an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces and service in the U.S. Armed Forces between Sept. 16, 1940 and Dec. 31, 1946; between June 27, 1950 and Jan. 30, 1955; or between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

They also must have attended high school between 1937 and 1946 during WWII; between 1947 and 1955 during the Korean Conflict; or between 1958 and 1974 during the Vietnam War. And they would have been a member of a graduating class during 1941 to 1950, 1951 to 1957, or 1961 to 1975 but did not graduate due to entry into military service; or is a current resident of the Hampton Township School District or attended high school in the district or a predecessor of this district, according to a report from the district.

Diplomas can be awarded posthumously as well as by families who apply on their behalf with the proper requirements.

Loughead said veterans can receive their diploma in May or June with the rest of the high school graduates, and “would be a wonderful opportunity to provide a diploma of this nature.”

He said if it's necessary to grant the diploma at an earlier timeframe, they would certainly accommodate those requests. They are now hoping to “get the word out” on the program.

John Stack, commander of the VFW Post 9199 — Mt. Royal Veterans Club, said he's heard of Operation Recognition and that it's a worthwhile endeavor.

“Especially for young people who can get a better appreciation for what our veterans did,” said Stack, adding he'll alert members about the program. Deadline to apply for these first round of diplomas is April 30. Applications can be found on the district website or obtained at the high school office. For details, go to www.ht-sd.org.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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