WWII Veteran Receives High School Diploma at Age 87

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

"We know through their sacrifice and experience, they're certainly worthy of that high school diploma," said Flynn.

It's not everyday an 87 year old celebrates their own high school graduation, But one Franklin man did just that today.

James Dorris says it was his Good Conduct Medal from WWII that was his proudest accomplishment, but today he added another accomplishment, a high school diploma that was long overdue.

"Men like him gave us our freedom. I thought he deserved it," said sister Brenda Dorris.

Her brother lived what so many learn about in school, so it only seemed fair he should have a degree too.

"Sure you can read a history book. You can get your facts and your dates, and important people, but more than likely they were not on the front line," said Brenda Dorris.

The Kentucky General Assembly enacted a law that allows veterans with good conduct who were unable to finish high school due to their military service, to be awarded an honorary degree. Today, Simpson County Schools Superintendent Jim Flynn presented Dorris with his diploma.

"He told me he left school when he was 17 years old, and he was drafted right before school started, and one of his regrets is that he never got to finish and get his high school diploma," said Simpson County Schools Superintendent Jim Flynn.

"Things were alot different than it is now. If I had to go do it again, I'd have gone to school the next day after I got out of the service, because it made a hardship on me over they years of trying to get employment," said WWII veteran James E. Dorris.

"We know through their sacrifice and experience, they're certainly worthy of that high school diploma," said Flynn.

With his wife and family by his side, he felt once again like the kid who left school to defend our freedom.

"I feel like I'm about 20 years old you know... getting to graduate," said James Dorris.

Flynn says in his nearly eleven years as superintendent, only twice has he awarded a veteran with an honorary high school diploma, and Dorris was the second. Nearly twenty other area veterans were on hand to help Dorris celebrate this special occasion.

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