War vets without diplomas still have time to apply

RIVERSIDE – Veterans of Foreign Wars who didn’t graduate from high school have a little over a week left to apply for graduation certificates issued through a Riverside County program that awards diplomas to former airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines who gave up school to serve their country.

The county Office of Education this year is conducting its 10th “Operation Recognition” program for the benefit of veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Under the program, vets are eligible to receive certificates even though they never finished school.

“Our veterans are qualified and well deserving to receive diplomas,” said county Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Young. “We want to do everything we can to make it possible for these outstanding individuals to share that experience with their family and friends”

Operation Recognition was initiated in 2007, and since then, more than 300 veterans who reside in Riverside County have received diplomas, according to county officials.

The program is based on California Education Code 51440, which permits the retroactive granting of graduation certificates to honorably discharged or retired veterans who served while the country was on a war footing. All they have to do is sign up.

The application deadline is Oct. 6. Forms can be downloaded at www.rcoe.us/operationrecognition, or requested via telephone by contacting Tracey Case at (951) 826-6570.

A graduation ceremony is scheduled for the afternoon of Nov. 10 in the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

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