80 Years Later: An Iowa World War II Vet Gets High School Diploma [PHOTOS]
File this story under the sweetest you'll see all week: A 98-year-old Iowa native who served this country in World War II has accomplished something he has wanted to do for decades: he'll be receiving his high school diploma.
Donald Huisenga didn't graduate because he was drafted
The year was 1943, an 18-year old Donald Huisenga was called into service by his country. As a result, he had to leave the former Auburn High School (now East Sac County High School). In a Radio Iowa story, the almost 100-year old Huisenga said not getting his high school diploma was one of his greatest regrets.
Fast forward to today, the principal of East Sac County High School Kevin Litterer learned of Huisenga's wishes to receive his diploma and took quick action. He tracked someone who had a diploma from the now-defunct Auburn High School. That diploma was from 1948 but contained the correct school logo, font, and insignia from a 1943 diploma. A special diploma was created for Donald Huisenga, and today, January 5, 2022, Huisenga received his diploma.
During his service in World War II, Huisenga served in the European theatre. He parachuted into Normandy in 1944. Today, he lives in Texas. Principle Litterer flew down to attend the ceremony and personally give the diploma to Huisenga as students at East Sac County High School watched on Facebook Live.
Students also designed a quilt for Huisenga which was presented to him at the graduation ceremony, as seen below.
In addition, students in the district K-12 made Huisenga ‘Congratulations on your graduation’ cards that were given to him during the ceremony.
The ceremony was also streamed live on the East Sac County Facebook page.