Area man to receive high school diploma 60 years later

Nearly 60 years after his class graduated from Franklin High School, a Franklin veteran of the Vietnam era will receive his high school diploma later this month.

Arthur Greene Jr., 76, of Franklin Twp., was supposed to graduate with the class of 1963 at Franklin High School, but left school during his senior year to work on the family farm.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, it was not uncommon for teens to leave school to help out on the family farm and make up their classes at other times of the year, according to family friend Shawn Acrey.Acrey said before Greene could get back to school to complete his final three credits, he was drafted into the Army in December 1965 and eventually was sent to Vietnam where he saw combat.

Greene served as as a watercraft operator and received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He completed his service obligations and received an Honorable Discharge in 1971.

Greene returned to Franklin, working at a couple of gas stations before getting a job at the General Motors/Frigidaire plant in Moraine where he worked for 30 years and was a group leader.

In addition to working at the plant, Greene also worked on the side at the farm on Robinson-Vail Road that has been in his family since the early 1800s. He took over the 80-acre farm in 1970 and grew soybeans and corn until the mid-1990s when he decided to lease his land to another farmer.

Acrey said Greene learned about veterans who left school due to family circumstances or to enter the armed services receiving their diplomas years later after seeing a media report and they talked about it.

“I got to thinking about and I decided I wanted mine,” Greene said.

Since 2010, state law allows school boards to award high school diplomas in recognition of people who made individual sacrifices made by veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict.

Greene met with Franklin school district administrators and worked with the Warren County Veterans Services Commission who verified his military information and determined his eligibility for the diploma. The Franklin Board of Education approved the application for the diploma during its work session last week.

When asked what he thought about getting his diploma nearly 60 years after his class crossed the stage at graduation, Greene said, “It’s pretty awesome.”

“I’m thankful for everyone who help me get my high school diploma,” he said.

Franklin Superintendent Michael Sander said this will mark the second time the school board will have awarded a high school diploma to veteran. Sander said the diploma is the same as those that will be awarded this spring to FHS graduating seniors. He said Greene will be listed as a member of the class of 2021.

The Franklin Board of Education will award Greene his high school diploma at its March 22 board meeting at Franklin High School, 750 E. Fourth St., Sander said.

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