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Four veterans who missed their graduation in 1956 honored nearly 70 years later: 'Special moment'

They joined the armed forces and served in the Korean conflict. They were among the 484 graduating seniors from Springdale High School, Arkansas.

Four veterans who missed their graduation in 1956 honored nearly 70 years later: 'Special moment'
Image source: YouTube/5NEWS

Four "super seniors" who missed their graduation in 1956 because they joined the armed forces are now part of a 2022 graduating class. Springdale School District in Arkansas added the four honorary graduates to this year's graduating class more than 65 years after they missed their graduation ceremony. Air Force veterans Carl Stults, Charles Leroy Moon and Bob Self and Army veteran Bobby Burke joined the 484 graduating seniors from Springdale High School, Arkansas, in accepting their diplomas at Bud Walton Arena, reported Khou. “I took a GED test when I went into the Air Force and at the time, Springdale didn't recognize the GED test,” said Self. “I got a diploma from Little Rock Central.”

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Self touched on his time with the armed forces in Hong Kong and the Philippines. “I don't want people telling me what to do and I'm like okay, I joined the Air Force,” said Self, recalling his time with the Air Force. “But about two days after I got there, they were really telling me what to do” The addition of the four super seniors to the graduating class came as a pleasant surprise to the graduating class. The idea of giving them their honors at the 2022 ceremony started after Springdale educators met them at the Wagon Wheel Café in Springdale, reported 5News. The four friends regularly meet at the cafe to catch up with one another. “These guys that whole class they meet I think once a month for lunch,” said Jason Jones, the Springdale principal. “They are true Springdale Bulldogs, they are all about Springdale.”


Springdale Superintendent Jared Cleveland read letters from Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S. Representative Steve Womack at the ceremony. Womack referenced their time in the forces and hailed them as heroes. “They served during the time of the Korean conflict and beyond. At that time, they didn’t think about themselves, they didn’t think ‘What about me?’” wrote Womack, reported Kiro7. “They answered the call of duty. Is that not the truest spirit of America?” 

The educators listed the achievements of the super seniors at the ceremony, which included joining the armed forces, owning successful businesses, working in the poultry industry and even raising racehorses. Jones loved the idea of honoring them because they deserved it and it would also inspire the students to look up to them. “They're gonna learn honor, they're gonna learn respect, it's just gonna be a special moment for them,” said Jones about the students graduating.


The four seniors are an inspiration for the graduating class. 

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