RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam War who enlisted in the armed forces before they graduated from high school were finally awarded their diplomas.

The Press-Enterprise reports seven veterans with five in attendance were honored with a high school graduation ceremony in Moreno Valley on Monday.

Through the program Operation Recognition administered by the Riverside County Office of Education, the men were able to don graduation caps topped with tassels and walk across a stage.

Timothy Lewis Basquez says that though he went on to earn a degree, he always felt that his accomplishments weren’t complete without a high school diploma. The 63-year-old former Marine says receiving the diploma was humbling, and it was something he just needed to do.

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Information from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com

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