Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Honors Veterans with Missing High School Diplomas at Operation Recognition

Operation Recognition Class of 2014RIVERSIDE – They answered the call of duty and served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. While they served, some missed out on completing high school.

On November 12, seventeen veterans who missed out on graduation day due to military service finally received their high school diplomas, at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center during Operation Recognition ceremony. The diplomas are awarded as a joint effort of the Riverside County Board of Education, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young, and the Riverside County Department of Veterans Services.

During the ceremony, veterans walked across the stage to receive diplomas from members of the Riverside County Board of Education while friends and families in the audience cheered. Among the veterans being honored were two local residents that had served in World War II. Prior to the event their stories were covered by RCOE and local media:


At the end of the ceremony, the new graduates posed for their official “Class of 2014” photo.

Operation Recognition Class of 2014 Photo Gallery


Diplomas were awarded to:

Salvatore Amata
Cherry Valley
US Army – Korean War

Joe Aviles
US Navy; US Army – World War II, Korean War

Gerald Blokzyl
Mountain Center
US Army – Korean War

Gary Crone
Cathedral City
US Navy – Vietnam War

Manuel Espudo
US Marine Corps – Korean War, Vietnam War

Phillip Klock
Mira Loma
US Navy – Korean War

Henry LaPointe
US Army – Vietnam War

Steven Netter
US Marine Corps – Vietnam War

Joe Pruett
US Navy – Vietnam War

Rudolfo Ramirez
US Army – Korean War

Adam Ruelas
US Army – Vietnam War

Juan Serrano
US, Marine Corps – Vietnam War

Muhammad Shamsid-Deen
US Navy – Vietnam War

TL Shelton
US Army – World War II

Philip Walker
Lake Elsinore
US Marine Corps – Vietnam War

Robert Wible
US Air Force – Korean War

George Zankl
Moreno Valley
US Navy – Korean War, Vietnam War