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80-Year-Old Veteran To Receive High School Diploma Saturday

Last updated on Friday, June 7, 2013

(FORT WAYNE) - 80-year-old LeRoy Blessing will be among the 450 Carroll High School students receiving a high school diploma on Saturday.

WANE TV reports that the Marine Corps veteran enlisted one year before he would have received his diploma. He served with the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Marine Corps Divisions from 1950 until 1970. He served in the Korean War, Okinawa and had two tours in Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Captain and now lives near Orlando, Florida.

He decided, 62 years after enlisting, to finally get his diploma.

With help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs , Blessing discovered that the school he would have graduated from, Arcola School, no longer exists. Arcola Elementary, which is part of the Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS), sits where Arcola School once did.

According to a press release, NACS "is honored to help Mr. Blessing's dream come true." Blessing toured Arcola Elementary on Monday.

"It is refreshing to come back and see the changes." said Blessing. "It was a small school and now it's not so small. The entrance coming in is what I remember, and the gym."

On Saturday, Blessing will walk with the 450 seniors of Carroll High School. Blessings original class only had 13 students.

"It is something I never accomplished. I think I have received what is needed to get a diploma" said Blessing.

Blessing plans on relaxing after getting his diploma.

Carroll High School's commencement will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, June 8 at 7 p.m.

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