“It’s a thrill,” 95-year-old WWII veteran awarded high school diploma

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CLAREMORE, Okla. (KJRH) – A 95-year-old WWII veteran received his high school diploma from an Oklahoma school district this week.

At the age of 12, Corporal Lewie Shaw became an orphan. At 17, he dropped out of high school and worked as a janitor and school bus driver.

It wasn’t until 1943 that Shaw enlisted in the Marines, later fighting in Tinian, Saipan and Iwo Jima.

“One come out with a phosphorus grenade, got me across the backside,” Shaw said. “And I didn’t want to tell anybody. A good Marine doesn’t get shot in the back.”

Shaw then worked for a lumber company for 30 years and also went into business with his son, according to KJRH.

But one thing was still missing – his high school diploma.

His original high school is no longer there, and is now a part of Oolagah Lake. So, officials at Claremore High School helped him achieve that goal on Thursday by honoring him with his diploma and a special graduation ceremony.

“It’s a thrill,” he said.

Shaw encourages all students to work hard and get their diplomas.

“My advice to them is to keep clawing, continue digging,” he said. “Get that education.”

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