90-year-old gets H.S. diploma 71 years after dropping out to serve in World War II

Jack Koolik graduated from Darnell Cookman High School in Jacksonville on Monday evening.

He left his New York high school 71 years ago to join the U.S. Army Air Corps, which became the U.S. Air Force.

Last year, the Florida Legislature made it possible for people to get their diplomas if they left school to join the military and were honorably discharged.

"Wonderful. It's like a dream world. I can't believe I'm up on the stage," Koolik said.

Koolik's daughter found out about the program and encouraged her dad to pursue it.

She presented him with his diploma.

The 70th anniversary of D-Day, the World War II invasion of Normandy, is on Friday.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.