SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. – A man who fought in World War II, survived D-Day, and raised a family once he returned home, has finally received his high school diploma.
George Hulka Jr. is 100 years old, and on Saturday, he joined teenagers in order to receive his diploma from Schuylerville High School.
The auditorium erupted in applause and cheers as Devin Stark walked over to his great-grandfather and fulfilled an educational milestone.
“It’s really amazing, I know there’s a lot of people that don’t get this opportunity,” said Stark.
The moment was three generations in the making, when the high school senior, handed Hulka his high school diploma. Stark graduates alongside his great-grandfather with the Schuylerville School District Class of 2014 on Saturday.
“I’m overwhelmed, I’m very proud of both of them,” said Hulka’s daughter, Karen Austin.
The last time Hulka attended school was in the eighth grade in a one room schoolhouse.
“When he came home from the service he started a family. Family kept him busy,” said Austin.
Hulka and five other veterans have been able to receive their diplomas thanks to the program Operation Recognition.
“Very amazing man, proud of him for his service. He’s my hero,” said Stark.
Hulka now plans to frame the diploma.
Austin joked that it was now time for him to start working on his Bachelor’s Degree.