World War II Veteran Finally Gets High School Diploma

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HONESDALE -- A World War II veteran from Wayne County finally received his high school diploma Tuesday night.

Robert Dexter from Damascus enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. He was a 17-year-old junior at Damascus High School.

“The war was on, World War II. I just felt I had to participate, so I did.”

As a crowd looked on, Dexter was awarded his degree by the Wayne Highlands School Board.

Dexter was discharged in 1948.

He started a career and a family, returning to his home in Wayne County, where he’s volunteered his time in the community.

“It’s just fantastic that Wayne Highlands is honoring him. Back in 2007, our Leadership Wayne class actually raised funds to send all the World War II veterans from Wayne County to Washington D.C. to see the World War II Memorial. He carried the wreath that said, ‘Wayne County Tour of Honor,’” said Debbie Gillette, executive director of the Chamber of the Northern Poconos.

“That he has waited this long to get his high school diploma, I think this is the least we can do for our veterans,” said Peter Casazza, a history teacher at Damascus School.

More than a dozen members of Dexter’s family watched him finally get his diploma.

He was grateful they could see it happen.

“Great, feels great, all the family. Daughter came up from Florida. I didn’t really expect that. They’re all here. Everybody is here,” he said.

When asked what he will do with the degree, he replied, "Hang it up someplace! Have to hang it up to show. Other than that, it’s not going to help me find a job.”

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