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State offers high school diploma to certain veterans

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools is looking for World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans who left school before graduating in order to serve.

These veterans are eligible to receive their high school diploma, if they meet certain other criteria.

This program, which was voted into law by the Alabama Legislature in 2010, has been brought to school systems’ attention this year by State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey.

To qualify, veterans need to have proof of military honorable discharge, which can be obtained from the veterans service office. Chilton County Veterans Affairs can be contacted at 205-280-4685.

According to the memo from Mackey, the veteran should contact the current principal of the high school they had attended to begin the process. Specific school phone numbers can be found at chilton.k12.al.us or by calling central office at 205-280-3000. If the school cannot find attendance records, the veteran can prove attendance through “a report card, a newspaper clipping, or notarized documentation from two verifiable sources that can confirm school attendance,” according to the memo.

Veterans who are eligible to receive a diploma would receive one with the graduation date of the next graduating class.

“According to the recipient, the diploma may be presented at a scheduled graduation ceremony, private ceremony or mailed,” Mackey stated in the memo.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said he would like to be able to honor some veterans in this way and begun getting the word out in hopes of finding someone who qualifies.

According to Mackey, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs will reimburse school systems for the cost of the diploma, if an invoice is submitted by Nov. 6.