Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards & Sad Update

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CajunKing
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2009/04/17 16:11:29 (permalink)

Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards & Sad Update

Last night I was at a meeting for the camp that I am on the board for.  One of the trustees announced that on May 30, 2009 he will be getting his High School diploma, 65 years after the fact.
 
Bonnie was a senior in Lynn, Indiana when WWII broke out, he never hesitated, he left school and enlisted.  He served in the ETO and then the PTO with distinction.  When he returned from WWII he went straight to work.
 
This past year Indiana passed legislation that would allow those veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam who either enlisted or were drafted before they completed high school to obtain their High School diploma (not GED).
 
So at Lynn's High School graduation this May, one of the graduates will be a little older than the rest.
 
Bonnie is a gentleman farmer, a member of "The Greatest Generation" and a heck of a great guy. 
 
What he doesn't know is that his family has been working on obtaining the military medals he never recieved for his years of service. 
 
May 30th will be a very special day.
post edited by CajunKing - 2012/02/17 21:16:10
#1

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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/17 16:33:00 (permalink)
    I'll be shocked if there isn't a decent amount of media coverage of the event.  Good for him!

    Brad
    #2
    John A
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/17 17:33:42 (permalink)
    That's a great law, all States should do that. Very good for him and thanks to you Don for the posting.
    #3
    ann peeples
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/17 17:45:14 (permalink)
    What a wonderful story, and I hope you keep us posted as to the events and his reception on that day. Gave me goosebumps.
    #4
    Bill Reynolds
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/19 00:01:49 (permalink)
    It would be special to be able to attend his graduation and to be there when he gets his metals pinned on him. I wish Bonnie and his friends and family the best.
    #5
    seafarer john
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/19 21:35:54 (permalink)
    I never stuck around to get my high school diploma (1945) and to this day I do not have one. Yet I have my BS and and a ton of advanced credits. A lot of slack was granted to my generation, but we still had to prove ourselves in academic studies.

    Cheers, John  
    #6
    Fieldthistle
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/20 12:40:03 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Hurrah for Bonnie, and hurray for his daughter for
    working hard so that the government will give him
    the military medals he deserves.
    Too often we are quick to be critical of others, and
    cheap when it comes to honour the merits
    of one another.
    May it be a joyful day for Bonnie.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle

    #7
    Foodbme
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/20 14:32:53 (permalink)
    Now that's a great story. THANX CK!
    #8
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/20 15:45:54 (permalink)
    seafarer john

    I never stuck around to get my high school diploma (1945) and to this day I do not have one. Yet I have my BS and and a ton of advanced credits. A lot of slack was granted to my generation, but we still had to prove ourselves in academic studies.



    How did that work?  Were you still considered a H.S. graduate for purposes of entering college, or could you meet requirements other than having a diploma and still get in?
     
    Brad
    #9
    PopsDogHouse
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/20 20:38:27 (permalink)
    Great information.  Thank you for sharing.
    #10
    seafarer john
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/20 21:14:47 (permalink)
    The college I went to was in desperate need of male students, and more important in need of students with the GI bill. The admissions officer gave me credit for 10 years at sea and two years in the Army, plus one hell of a good score on a simple admissions exam.

    Cheers, John  
    #11
    CajunKing
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/04/25 19:23:35 (permalink)
    UPDATE:

    I just got the invitation in the mail today.

    "Bonnie Roark would have liked to have graduated with his classmates at Spartanburg High School but left to enlist in the army during WWII.

    The eighth of 17 children, he grew up in Randolph County, learning to work at an early age.  Whether it was firing the stove for a local church, picking tomtatoes for the cannery, or helping his mother and father with the truck patch and chickens;  he knew how to work.

    Bonnie left for the military on March 17, 1943 aboard a west bound train from Union City, IN.  He was stationed for most of his deployment in the South Pacific.  He was with the 710th Tank Battalion after training at tank school at Fort Knox, KY.  He saw combat thanks to the first 18 yr old draft, that remanned the 7th division with men from all over the US.  The average age of the unit was 19;  Bonnie was 18 years old and the smallest boy there.

    They left Pearl Harbor on August 8th 1944, by September 17th they were on Angaur Island in the Palau Group as part of the full naval and air bombardment.

    All hell broke loose that first night and continued for 13 days.  15,000 men battled the Japanese until the island was secured.

    The 81st then moved to Peleliu Island to back up the Marines from October 1st to November 27. 

    On December 8th, 1944 the battalion proceeded to New Caledonia and they prepared for the Okinawa campaigned.  last minute orders reouted the tanks to Leyte, where the arrived May 17th, 1945.

    Gen. MacArthur had landed on the island in September, the 81st was positioned there to maintain the airfield.

    Bonnie was awarded the Victory Medal, The Medal of Service, The American Theater Ribbon, The Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with bronze star, the Phillipines Liberations Ribbon with Bronze star, a purple heart and a good conduct medal.

    He returned to Camp Atterbury on January 22, 1946.  he came home in the middle of winter without a coat or his medals due to a shortage at the time."

    On May 30th, Bonnie will not only receive his high school diploma, but also his long awaited medals.

    Spartanburg high school has been absorbed into Randolph Southern High School's ceremony.

    Way to go Bonnie

    #12
    Matrix_R
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2009/06/23 02:00:43 (permalink)
    CajunKing


    What he doesn't know is that his daughter has been working on obtaining the military medals he never recieved for his years of service. 




    He's my Uncle & he doesn't have any kids

    CBR



    #13
    CajunKing
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2012/02/17 21:10:50 (permalink)
    Another one of the Greatest Generation is at rest.
     
    Bonnie passed away last Sunday, he was buried today.
     
    He was a truly remarkable man, and it was an honor to know him and work with him.
     
    http://www.stegallberheideorr.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1395098&fh_id=11668
    #14
    fishtaco
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    Re:Getting His High School Diploma..... 65 years afterwards 2012/02/18 09:53:18 (permalink)
    I salute you Mr. Roark, Fair Winds and Following Seas.
    #15
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