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Veterans graduate from high school, earning diploma's in their 70's & 80's

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CHANDLER, Ariz. - Three valley graduates tonight gave new meaning to the term high school seniors.

The men got their diplomas in their 70's and 80's thanks to a program that the high school offers for veterans.

For 11 years Hamilton High School has been giving honorary diplomas to veterans in recognition and gratitude for what the veterans did for our country.

Three American soldiers stood before a sea of students in caps and gowns tonight.

In addition this year the class has agreed to award honorary diplomas to three veterans who served our country.

"It's an honor to be here, it really is, this is a great country," said Lou Travisano.

Lou Travisano enlisted in the Army Air Corps at 17 years-old, before he could graduate with his class in 1946. After 30 years of service he retired at Williams Air Force Base.

"I was a command chief out there when I retired, the last four years I was command chief, I was in aircraft maintenance for most of my career, a total of 26 yrs," said Travisano.

After retiring from the military, Abram Devogel tried to volunteer with the Pinal County Sheriffs Office, but his application was denied, because he didn't have a high school diploma.

"Now I can do my volunteer work at the sheriff station and continue on, and maybe give back to the people that helped me get here," said Abram DeVogel.

"I finished three years of high school back in Rockford,Illinois and I enlisted in the U.S. Navy on my 17th birthday, I never did finish high school," said William Minders.

87 year-old William Minders earned a purple heart in World War II, he's here tonight because the woman he calls his lady friend told him he's going to graduate from high school.

Hamilton High School continues to graduate veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

They ask that veterans seeking a diploma, reach out to the school.
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