BELEN, N.M. (CBS Las Vegas) — Nearly 70 years after storming Omaha Beach on D-Day, a World War II veteran became a high school graduate.

Ninety-year-old Luis Silva of Belen, N.M., received a high school diploma Tuesday from Belen High School.

“I always liked school and I wanted someday to graduate,” Silva, a great-grandfather, told KRQE-TV.

Silva began working at the age of 15, and before he could finish out his high school courses, he was drafted into the Army in 1943.

“During the war I didn’t think that I was going to make it home,” Silva told KRQE.

Silva’s daughter, Lora Marez, thanked the high school for making her father’s dream come true.

“This is an honor and something he’s always wanted to do all his life, and not many people get to redo it or go back and get it,” she explained to KRQE.

Silva said he felt proud walking across the stage while his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were in attendance.

“I feel excited, happy,” Silva told KRQE. “I’m very proud.”

Silva received his diploma the same night as his great-granddaughter.


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