91 Year-Old WWII Veteran Is Finally Given High School Diploma 80 Years After Quitting School To Support His Family

A 91 year-old veteran who fought in World War II just finally obtained his high school diploma eight years after he gave up his education to support his family.

Pete Sabedra was presented with the diploma in a special ceremony at Derry Area Middle School, which is around forty minutes from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was given the diploma after his daughter-in-law issued a request for him to receive an honorary diploma from the school after a lifetime of hard work.

Talking about how Pete worked on railroads as a child, his daughter-in-law said, “The weight of the wheelbarrows loaded with the ballast and the moving of railroad ties would cause their hands to be split wide open every day.”

“Their mother would bandage them up every night, and the next day the same work would need to be done again,” she continued. “I simply felt he deserved to have it.”

Pete received his diploma alongside his grandson Kace, who is set to graduate from college later this month.

Pete was just 12 years-old and in eighth grade back in 1940, when he quit school to work immediately after his father passed away from pneumonia. He originally became a railroad worker to support his family, and when the United States joined World War II in 1941, he lied about his age to enlist.

Pete served in France and Germany as an infantryman and a member of the military police. Afterwards, he returned to working as a machine operator for the railroad before shifting to the staff at Torrance State Hospital, working as a patient aide before retiring in 1985.

After being presented with his diploma, Pete said simply “it’s something.” His grandson added that he could not be more proud of him.

“It’s a cool experience,” Kace said. “It means a lot, considering we’re graduating at the same time almost.”


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