A World War II veteran is going to receive an honorary diploma from the high school he had left in order to serve the United States. Charles W. Benning, who left Yellow Springs High School in Ohio 70 years back, is 92 now.
According to Benning’s grandson Sean L. Jenkins, the only thing his grandfather regrets is never having the opportunity to have a high school diploma. Benning said that he was “busy trying to get in the Army.” However, he could not get an entry initially as he was not old enough.
Guidance Counselor Dave Smith said that the school administration had a strong feeling that Benning deserved the honor for the kind of service he had provided to the United States. He said that the administration was “moved” by Benning’s achievements.
Benning said that he was glad to know that the authorities had realized his achievements while he was still alive. He remembered the days when he served with a unit of African-American soldiers. The veteran said that there was a lot of prejudice.
“Most of my medals came from France,” My Dayton Daily News quoted Benning, “They didn’t come from this country.” He said that during one occasion, the servicemen who were white had received a commendation medal. However, he said that his African-American counterparts had not received anything.
It was Jenkins who approached the school and told the authorities how much Benning missed not having a high school diploma. He said that his grandfather’s graduation would be a “magical moment” for him.
When WWII veteran receives the diploma he could not get decades back, he will be accompanied by more than 50 departing school seniors,who are in their teens. The veteran will apparently wear a cap and a gown when he receives the honor.
Principal Tim Krier said that teenage graduates were excited about the fact that they would receive their diploma alongside the WWII veteran. He said honoring Benning would be “the least” the community could do for the veteran.