HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- James Yarbrough served in World War II from September 1944 to July 1946. Because he answered the call when his country was in a time of need, Yarbrough was unable to earn his diploma from the now shuttered Washington Henry High School.
That changed during a Veterans Day assembly Monday, when Hanover County Schools honored Yarbrough with the diploma he never received.
"Mr. Yarbrough is precious and I think it's important for our students, our kids to see a real hero," Washington Henry Elementary School principal Lisa Thompson said. "Someone who personally made those sacrifices to give to the better of all."
Honorary high school diplomas for veterans recognize life experiences of honorably discharged veterans who could not finish high school due to them service in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War.
Yarbrough called the experience "quite an honor" and something he never expected.