Published: 04:57 BST, 2 June 2012 | Updated: 04:57 BST, 2 June 2012>
A man who dropped out of high school 70 years ago to serve in World War II finally got his diploma last week.
Jack Fletcher, an 86-year-old veteran, joined the 2012 graduates of Spur High School in Spur, Texas as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma.
The man didn't complete his senior year at the school opting to serve in the U.S. Marines in the 1940s.
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Big day: Jack Fletcher, 86, (right) joined the 2012 graduates of Spur High School in Texas 70 years after he dropped out to serve in World War II
While away from a classroom for seven decades, Mr Fletcher had always hoped for an opportunity to wear a cap and gown from his old school.
He grew up in the area. Both his parents died in a car accident leaving him, along with his two brothers, in the care of their grandparents.
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Several of Mr Fletcher's friends and his brothers signed up to join the war.
He, too, enlisted meaning he had to give up finishing his final year of high school.
Past: Mr Fletcher got his wish to wear a cap and gown from his old school when he received a diploma (pictured) as an honorary graduate
He went on serve overseas in the Pacific region for several years.
When Mr Fletcher returned to his grandparents in his hometown, the family dog, David, was waiting for him.
'That little dog,' the veteran said to KCBD holding back tears, 'my grandmother said he waited at the end of the lane each day when I left.'
Call to duty: Mr Fletcher fought in the Pacific region during World War II as a U.S. Marine meaning he had to leave his high school (pictured) as a senior
He soon moved on to his next adventure where he moved to Australia to build a successful career in the agricultural industry.
'You think that would satisfy a guy,' Mr Fletcher told KCBD.
Instead, the veteran couldn't let go of his hopes to receive a high school diploma.
Years later, he found himself standing among the ten other 2012 graduates at the high school.
'No slow learner': Mr Fletcher was thrilled to walk across the stage to receive his diploma even though he was a successful businessman and veteran
He joked with the news station: 'The superintendent assured them I was no slow learner even though it's taken me 70 years.'
With his blue cap and gown with a gold tassel that had a 2012 charm on it, Mr Fletcher walked across the Spur High School stage as an honorary graduate and got a diploma.
'I had to look to make sure they put a certificate in there.
'I was afraid they were kidding me!' he said, laughing.
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