RIVERSIDE – They were away from home serving their country while classmates were marching in commencement ceremonies. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard veterans who missed out on their high school graduations due to military service have until October 15 to apply for a diploma through the 2020 Operation Recognition Program. Individuals who were interned in a Japanese-American relocation camp during World War II are also encouraged to apply.
A total of 362 veterans have received a diploma through Operation Recognition since 2007. The diplomas are awarded as a joint effort of the Riverside County Board of Education, the Riverside County Office of Education, and the Riverside County Department of Veterans’ Services.
In order to be eligible for a diploma, individuals must currently reside in Riverside County. Completed application forms and supporting documentation must be received by 5 p.m., on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Application forms, photos, and video from last year’s ceremony are available online on the Operation Recognition Web page. There is no charge to apply for a diploma. Applications can also be requested by telephone. Interested persons may contact Tracey Case at (951) 826-6570 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. While RCOE is unable to offer an in-person ceremony this year, diplomas will be mailed to qualifying veterans in November.
The program is open to current residents of Riverside County whose high school education was interrupted by military service in World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War. Degrees can also be conferred posthumously. Education Code Section 51440 authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans. Section 51430 also authorizes the retroactive granting of diplomas to Japanese-American citizens whose internment by federal order in World War II prevented them from graduating from their hometown high school.