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During times of war, thousands of young men and women across this country left high school and the comforts of home to serve gallantly in the armed forces. Their sacrifices ensured our freedom and shaped the course of history throughout the world. After the wars ended, many of these veterans were not able to finish high school for various reasons, but led productive lives and helped build our communities.

The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project, offered in a partnership between the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the county's Department of Veterans Affairs, recognizes 111 veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. This inaugural event is for veterans or family members of those who are deceased for awarding their high school diploma to those who met the qualifications.

The California Education Code authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans, as well as those who were interned by federal order during World War II.

All applicants for the Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project must have been enrolled in high school prior to their military service or internment in a World War II relocation camp. It is an honor to bestow diplomas to these deserving veterans. Our deepest appreciation goes to all those recognized today for your sacrifice and valor. This is a small gesture of our society's gratitude for the sacrifices these individuals have made in the name of freedom.