WWII vet receives high school diploma - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WWII vet receives high school diploma

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Walter Worland opted to enlist during World War II instead of graduating with his high school class. (Source: WISH/CNN) Walter Worland opted to enlist during World War II instead of graduating with his high school class. (Source: WISH/CNN)

GREENFIELD, IN (WISH/CNN) - Graduating from high school is a day many students long for. That was the case for one Indiana graduate who waited decades for his diploma.

For Walter Worland, graduation day was 70 years in the making.

"Life just goes on and you just put things off, and this was one of them," said Worland.

Worland opted to enlist during World War II instead of graduating with his high school class.

"At 91, you run out of time," said Worland.

But his 91 years have been full of service to his country and his community.

He's established a scholarship program for Hancock County seniors, funded the junior high's library and volunteers for countless local organizations.

"So, if it's something he can do, he's not afraid or shy to step up to the plate," said Debbie Wilkerson, Worland's goddaughter.

But to Worland, education is most important.

"Felt some good that I had so many friends that came out for me. I think friendship is the best thing that keeps you going," said Worland.

"There is not a kinder, more thoughtful, loyal, patriotic person that I have ever known," said Wilkerson.

"I've been very fortunate. So I have a lot to share. I think there's so many people out there that could share more," said Worland.

Worland hopes his fellow 2014 graduates will carry on his legacy of service.

"To the students I always laugh and say, 'Well, I don't think I'll be at our 50th anniversary or reunion,'" said Worland.

Now that he's got his diploma, Worland is looking forward to his 100th birthday celebration.

Copyright 2014 WISH via CNN. All rights reserved.