94-year-old World War II veteran gets his high school diploma

Seven decades after he dropped out of high school, a 94-year-old World War II veteran will walk the stage of Leominster High School in Massachusetts, U.S.A, to finally receive his diploma.

Roland Martineau, a Navy veteran, never finished high school. His mother died when he was 6 and his father split soon afterward. Martineau’s grandparents who took care of him, could not afford to keep sending him to school, so he dropped out and joined the workforce. Later, he got married, joined the Navy and served in World War II in the Pacific. When he returned from the war, Martineau became a welder.

Recently, he told his long-time barber, Donna Salvi, that never getting his diploma was his biggest regret. Salvi, and her boyfriend, Bobby Penning, made it their mission to help Martineau achieve his dream. Salvi went to the veterans centre of Leominister, then to the mayor’s office, and finally to the school department, to work out an arrangement that will help Martineau to take his diploma.

Finally, on 2nd of June 2018, Martineau will receive his high school diploma, nearly 70 years in the making.

This is a sterling example of a passionate learner who overcame great odds to achieve his wish of graduating high school. Even though he never got the opportunity to complete his education in the World War II era, Martineau found it in himself to rise to the challenge and seize the day when the opportunity came for him to do so. Our best wishes to Martineau.

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