91-year-old WWII vet gets high school diploma with grandson

In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo from left, area military recruiters Marines Staff Sgt. Brandon Bianco and Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Boyle applaud as Derry Area High School senior Kace Sabedra congratulates his grandfather, Pete Sabedra, 91, on receiving his honorary diploma from the school at Derry Area's annual awards ceremony in Derry, Pa. The World War II veteran received his high school diploma, eight decades after leaving school to support his family. (Jeff Himler/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)
In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo Pete Sabedra, 91, spends time with his grandson, Derry Area High School senior Kace Sabedra, after Pete received his honorary diploma from the school at Derry Area's annual awards ceremony in Derry, Pa. The World War II veteran received his high school diploma, eight decades after leaving school to support his family. (Jeff Himler/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)
In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo from left, area military recruiters Marines Staff Sgt. Dalton Hart, Marines Staff Sgt. Brandon Bianco and Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Boyle look on as Derry Area High School senior Kace Sabedra escorts his grandfather, Pete Sabedra, 91, to receive his honorary diploma from the school at Derry Area's annual awards ceremony in Derry, Pa. The World War II veteran received his high school diploma, eight decades after leaving school to support his family. (Jeff Himler/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)
In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo Pete Sabedra, 91, of Torrance, sits with his grandson, Derry Area High School senior Kace Sabedra, as Pete waits to receive his honorary diploma from the school at Derry Area's annual awards ceremony in Derry, Pa. The World War II veteran received his high school diploma, eight decades after leaving school to support his family. (Jeff Himler/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)

DERRY, Pa. — A 91-year-old World War II veteran has finally received his high school diploma, eight decades after leaving school to support his family.

Pete Sabedra walked across the stage at Derry Area Middle School, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh, on Wednesday to accept his degree at a special awards ceremony.

Alongside Sabedra was his grandson, Kace, who will graduate from the district's high school on May 31.

The Tribune Review reports Pete Sabedra was attending eighth grade at the former Derry Township High School in 1940 when his father died and he and an older brother had to leave school to start work. The two worked for the railroad before enlisting in the military when the U.S. entered the war.

The brothers were sent to Germany, where Pete Sabedra served in the infantry and with the military police. Both brothers returned home safely.

Pete Sabedra returned to work for the railroad as a machine operator before shifting to the Torrance State Hospital, where he worked as a patient aide before retiring in 1985 with 30 years of service.

Sabedra earned his GED and says "it's something" to finally have the diploma.

"It's a cool experience," said his grandson, who plans to attend Thiel College in the fall. "It means a lot, considering we're graduating at the same time, almost."

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This story has been corrected to show Derry is east, not west, of Pittsburgh.

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Information from: Tribune-Review, http://triblive.com

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