95-year-old WWII veteran receives high school diploma during a special graduation ceremony

Congratulations and thank you for your service!


“If you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. A great thought from a great author that all of us should go back to whenever we feel things aren’t going the way we have imagined them.

Many times in life we feel like we are too old for the things that make us happy and we somehow convince ourselves that out time has passed and we shouldn’t even bother for the dreams that left unfulfilled. Thankfully, stories like that of 95-year-old World War II veteran Corporal Lewie Shaw remind us that nothing is impossible.


This incredible man had a rough childhood. When he was just 12 years old, he lost his parents and was forced to quit school at the age of 17 in order to work and be able to provide for himself. Before he became part of the Marine Corps back in 1943, Shaw worked as a janitor and a school bus driver.

During the war, Shaw served in Tinian, Iwo Jima in Japan, and Spain as part of the 4th Marine Division. Speaking of the life back home after the war was over, Shaw says it was pretty dull. However, during the last year’s Veteran Day ceremony, he received the surprise of a life time.


Knowing just how much he regretted not getting a high school diploma, the Claremore public school in Oklahoma decided to grant him that wish and awarded him with one during a special graduation ceremony.

Shaw couldn’t believe what happened and was overjoyed. “It’s surreal,” he said, as tears of joy rolled down his face. He even offered a valuable piece of advice to all the students, saying, “My advice to them is keep on clawing, keep on digging. Get that education.”

Take a look at the video of the graduation ceremony below.