CHESTER, N.Y. – It's not that graduating high school wasn't a priority for Chester resident Bruce Green back in 1962. There were just higher priorities to tackle at the time.
Green left Forest Hills High School in Queens 55 years ago to enlist in the Army and fight in Vietnam. He was just one-half credit shy of graduation at the time.
State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D- Woodbury) met with Green, now 73, on Wednesday to present him with his long awaited diploma as part of New York's Operation Recognition.
“Enlisting and fighting for your country takes outstanding courage and commitment,” Skoufis said in a statement. “After all Mr. Green has done for this nation and his fellow Americans, awarding him with his high school diploma, especially when he was so close to graduating, is the least we can do to show our respect and gratitude for his bravery.”
More than 100 seniors attended Green's "graduation" party along with Chester Mayor Tom Bell.
“For me, defending our country took precedence over graduation,” Green said. “I may have taken a different path than some, but it was well worth it, and getting my diploma after all these years means a great deal to me."
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