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American WWII Veteran Gonzales (96) Gets High School Diploma

Michael Glier/USC

A 96-year-old resident of the US city of Philadelphia has received his high school diploma on Sunday (local time). In his forties, Charles Leuzzi left his school to fight in World War II.  In 1945 Gonzales was deployed with the Marine Corps to Japan and then later on worked in the soil business. He retired at age 88 and decided he would head back to school.

During the war, Leuzzi was distinguished with two medals for injuries sustained and four medals for bravery under fire and the exceptional performance of his task. The board of the Philadelphia District Council decided to give him an honorary diploma, AP reports.

Leuzzi said he had to wait for the bull for a long time, but he finally managed to achieve that. On the question of whether he is planning to study now, the 97-year-old replied that he is considering that. “I have nothing else to do.”

“Like a true Trojan, he was determined to finish what he had begun. So today, at the age of 96, he becomes the oldest graduate in USC history,” C. L. Max Nikias said.

To succeed his final exam, Gonzales enrolled in a course the university created just for him, with help from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

“I called Mr. Gonzales at home to ask if he was ready for the challenge. His determination was so impressive that I knew that given the chance, Mr. Gonzales would meet all requirements,” replied a proud USC Registrar Frank Chang.

“I did make one mistake in life: I smoked too much. My advice is don’t smoke,” Gonzales told all students when he received his diploma.

Alfonso Gonzales finishes up his last class in autographical writing at the USC Davis School of Gerontology as he answers questions from classmates Kelsey Reinhardt, left, and Rita Chakrian. Gus Ruelas / USC

Featured Picture credit: Michael Glier/USC

Article source: NBC News

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