TEXARKANA, Tx. (KSLA) - It took over 65 years, but Paul Mackey finally got his high school diploma.
Mackey, 84, received his high school diploma from the Texarkana Texas School District.
When asked, Mackey said he was very surprised after all these years.
Mackey was scheduled to graduate from high school in 1954. However, you won’t see his picture in his yearbook because he chose to join the military during the Korean War, spending the next ten years as a Marine.
“It just seemed to be the exciting thing to do in those days,” Mackey said. "You know the Korean War was going on. I had some friends that had just come back.
Paul’s wife Anne said that her husband sacrificed for his country. Anne, a retired educator, was the driving force for making this day possible.
“It is an honor to be as an educator that he went back and accomplished something,” she said.
The Texas Education Code allows school districts to offer diplomas to honorably discharged veterans who served in World War II, the Korean or Vietnam Wars and were scheduled to graduate between 1940 through 1975.
While serving his country, Mackey did get his GED and did attend college. However, now he says his education is complete.
“You kids out there who see this — be smart,” Mackey said. "Be smart and go to school and stay in school.