Veterans without high school diploma sought for Riverside County Operation Recognition program

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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 Oct. 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.

The county has recognized 362 veterans with 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.

Individuals must currently reside in Riverside County to be eligible. Completed application forms and supporting documentation must be received by 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15.

Application forms, photos and video from the 2019 ceremony are available online at www.rcoe.us/operationrecognition. 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 tcase@rcoe.us. While Riverside County Office of Education 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.

Submitted by Riverside County Office of Education.