A 95-year-old World War II veteran got to celebrate Veteran’s Day in a unique way this year – by finally earning his high school diploma.
Louis Picariello’s heart was bursting with pride as he received his diploma from Needham High School last Wednesday, nearly eight decades after he left to fight for his country at a young age, WCVB reported.
“I can’t believe this,” Picariello said. “Everybody went out of their way and I appreciate it.”
Despite all his successes and accomplishments during his 95 years on this earth, including building a large, loving family, Picariello still felt there was something missing – earning his high school diploma.
Wanting to make it happen, Picariello’s friends at the local VFW recently reached out to Needham Public Schools and asked if getting his diploma would still be a possibility.
The district instantly agreed — and last Wednesday, just one day before Veteran’s Day and on the 246th anniversary of the Marine Corps being founded, it finally happened.
Daniel Gutekanst, the Superintendent of schools in Needham, Massachusetts, posted the moment on social media writing:
“Today NHS Principal Aaron Sicotte & I awarded WWII vet Louis Picariello his diploma 77 years after he left Needham High in his senior year, just shy of his graduation with the Class of ‘44. Vets, family & friends congratulated Louis on his service and a lifetime of learning.”
Picariello said he plans to frame his diploma so he’ll be able to see it every day. He also joked that he’s now turning his attention to furthering his education. “Will it get me into some college now?” he said jokingly.