World War II Veteran, 91, Graduates High School

By Jamie Ratliff
|  Monday, Jun 23, 2014  |  Updated 10:51 AM EDT
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After leaving high school more than 70 years ago to join the service, Rosalie Kone is granted her diploma by Windsor Locks High School.

After leaving high school more than 70 years ago to join the service, Rosalie Kone is granted her diploma by Windsor Locks High School.

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She dropped out of high school to serve our country, and now 70 years later a World War II veteran finally has her high school diploma.

Ninety-one-year-old Rosalie Kone stood in the middle of the Windsor Locks High School graduation in Connecticut and waved proudly to the cheering crowd. She says it's a moment she never thought she'd get.

"It's fantastic. I just like the fella who said I stole the show. I didn't steal the show. I said they hollered hello. I'll take the hellos," said Kone.

In 1944 with her brothers already fighting in WWII, Pfc Kone left high school to serve in the Women's Army Corp for two years.

"I drove a truck all over the country. Wherever the supplies were needed, that's where I went," said Kone.

Kone served in England, France, and Germany and received several medals including three bronze stars. Because of her service, she never got the chance to graduate until an anonymous call was made three weeks ago asking the Windsor Locks Superintendent if he'd be willing to grant a diploma to a WWII veteran.

"Is there a better example that learning is constant and time is a variable than Rosalie Kone? I don't think so," said Superintendent Wayne Sweeney.

"I thought it was quite an honor," said Kone.

Seventy years after leaving to fight in the war the great grandmother of three donned her cap and gown and walked the stage with cane in hand to a standing ovation. Her family was there for the emotional moment.

"She's amazing. Everything about her is amazing. She's my everything," said daughter Cindy Kone.

For many, high school graduation is just the beginning. For Kone, it took a lifetime to achieve, and she hopes other graduates don't take it for granted.

"You just have to get out and push because no one is going to hand out anything to you because, like I said, if anybody knows, I do," said Kone.

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