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A World War II veteran who never got to graduate because he left to serve in the military has finally received his diploma. Raymond Schaefer didn’t finish at Racine County School of Agriculture with the rest of the class of 1943, but he was recently surprised with a high school graduation of his own.
The 96-year-old veteran’s former high school closed its doors in 1959, but Waterford Union High School in Waterford, Wisconsin, took its place. And they were happy to honor Schaefer with a diploma 77 years after he would’ve received it.
Teachers, students, family and friends were on hand to celebrate the surprise graduation, as well as the Waterford Union High School marching band. Principal Dan Foster told the crowd, “I proudly present to you an Aggie, a graduate of 1943, recognized on this day, March 18th, 2021.” “It’s great,” Schaefer says of the milestone. “I thought of it many times but never got around to it.”