Missouri veteran receives diploma after waiting 76 years
CAMERON (AP) - A 94-year-old Missouri veteran has received his high school diploma - at last.
Rupert Patterson was set to graduate from high school in Wathena, Kansas, in 1939. Instead, he was drafted into the military. Patterson served in World War II in major campaigns under Gen. George Patton, including D-Day.
His niece, Joyce Belcher, helped organize the graduation Saturday for Patterson. She told the St. Joseph News Press she had been preparing an obituary for her uncle when he told her he never got to graduate from high school.
She called Wathena school officials, who brought his diploma to him at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron, where Patterson lives.
Patterson says he's happy to have his diploma and to have officially graduated - 76 years later.