Diplomas available for WWII veterans

This article submitted on 8/16/00.

It's been a year since the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning and the Department of Veterans' Affairs teamed with local high schools to offer high school diplomas to World War II veterans who sacrificed their education in the service of their country.

In the past year, over 600 diplomas have been given to veterans by more than 280 schools.

But Paynesville Area High School has yet to issue one. Principal John Janotta would like to see that change this year. Besides granting a diploma, Janotta is eager to have a veteran speak at the school's Veteran's Day program in November about their experiences.

The intent of the diploma program is two-fold. In addition to rewarding deserving veterans for their service during WWII, the diplomas serve an educational purpose. Not only by the awareness that the diploma draws to the sacrifices of war, but by the sharing of personal experiences by veterans with a younger generation that has little experience with war.

Applications for the diploma program are available at the veterans' services offices in each county or on the web at cfl.state.mn.us/veteransapp.pdf or www. mdva.state.mn.us.

The veterans service office in St. Cloud can be reached at 320-656-6176. An application can be mailed to prospective veterans.

To be eligible, veterans must have served in the armed forces from 1941 to 1945 and must have been discharged honorably.

The applications are referred by the state departments to local schools, who would have final discretion on whether to issue a diploma.

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