If this story doesn’t light up your heart, well, it’s time for a transplant.
87-year-old Ken Kross, a United States veteran who served in the Navy toward the end of World War II, and later in the Army as well, was forced to drop out of high school to serve his country in 1944.
With his time in the military, having started a family, and a career on the railroad, Kross never had time to continue his education.
Six months ago, Kross was placed in hospice, losing his battle with prostate cancer. He confided in the hospice Chaplain that he had never finished high school, and together with the Rensselaer City School District in upstate New York, managed to earn his diploma.
Via News 10:
A local hospice patient who dropped out of Rensselaer High School to serve his country in World War II is finally getting his diploma.
Ken Kross graduated from Rensselaer High School on Thursday. It was a moment 70 years in the making.
“I never expected it at all” he said.
(The Chaplain) contacted school officials in the Rensselaer City School District where Kross still lives. They invited Kross to attend the graduation in June, but because of his health, they held a special ceremony for him at the hospice.
“He just last night said, ‘I’m going to do this. I want to go down. I want to get this diploma. Everybody worked hard to get this for me,’” Kross’ daughter Debbie Cotugno said. “His children have the rare privilege of seeing their dad join the Class of 2015. It’s amazing. It’s just so wonderful that this actually happened today.”
Kross said he will proudly display his diploma and cap and gown and wants to celebrate with a Black Velvet.
Watch the news report on Kross’s achievement below…
Kross told the Board of Education President that “I feel like a young kid.”
The veteran added, “I loved my country, and I still do.